The NWO "perspectief" program wearable robotics aims at developing technology to truly augment or restore human motor functions. The envisioned Exo-aids will allow for agile and versatile movements. The developed technology will be integrated in Exo-aids for three applications that have a high socio-economic impact:
- to restore mobility in patients with a spinal cord injury;
- to prevent progressive function loss in patients with muscular dystrophy; and
- to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders in dynamic heavy lifting (industry workers) or static high-precision work (medical surgeons).
RAM participates in this program, by leading project 5 in which we aim at developing soft 3D printed parts with integrated sensing structures for the exo-aid systems. These parts will help in the monitoring of the electrophysiological processes through the integration of electrodes, wiring and amplifier modules. The parts will also contribute to the control and comfort of the exo-aid by measuring interaction forces. To make the fabrication of these parts possible we are developing a multi-material fabrication process. Through the development of this technology for 3D printed sensors we aim to reduce the assembly and number of interfaces required and increase the customizability and capability of robotic systems.
More information about the program can be found at https://www.wearablerobotics.nl/.