i-Botics is an open innovation centre for Research and Development in Interaction Robotics. The independent research centre has been founded by TNO and University of Twente and aims at developing knowledge and technology for value adding Robotic solutions. Industry partners in the full value chain and Governmental involvement is crucial for the development and successful implementation of these solutions. Knowledge is aggregated from various domains and researchers from our partners work together with us in the open innovation centre i-Botics.
Programmatic research and technology development will be combined with dedicated projects. Two research lines have been carefully identified and selected: tele-robotics and exoskeletons.
Telerobotics is concerned with remote controlled robots, possibly semi-autonomous, in which telepresence and teleoperations is combined. Telerobotics are used in operations for many applications and domains, like (petro)chemical industry, Healthcare, Defense and by large asset owners on land, subsea and in space.
Our approach is to provide the human operator with full perceptual and manipulation capabilities to intuitively perceive the remote environment and act as if being present at the remote site. A major advantage of this telerobotics approach is that it optimally benefits from combining the cognitive ability of the human operator with the robotic capabilities at a distance. But this also imposes big challenges, like the “situational awareness” of the human operator, “robotic sensing” and “adaptive automation” for partial autonomy.
TNO and UT have gained extensive knowledge, expertise and technology to master these challenges. In i-Botics these are further developed and safely implemented in value adding robotic applications.
An exoskeletons is a wearable user-guided robot that will become common practice in a diversity of applications.
One type of exoskeleton application is tele-presence: complex manipulations are performed by a person wearing an (arm-hand) exoskeleton, hereby intuitively steering a robot on a distance who does the job.
Another type of application can be found in the medical, military and the industrial field. Here, the man does the job and the exoskeleton provides mechanical power to the human body to give support in physical activities. Either to support disabled people, to empower soldiers, or to keep workers healthy.
Despite the vast interest in exoskeletons, several technological issues hinder the acceptance and use. The ambition of i-Botics is to bring exoskeletons a major step forward, i.e. make them flexible, fast and comfortable, and make them applicable, useful and accepted in practice.
See also: www.i-botics.com
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