Current robotic technologies show severe limitations in multi-dimensional applications requiring force control, both from the accuracy and safety perspective. Although combined hardware and control concepts have been developed that enable accurate force control in a single degree of freedom, the majority of tasks necessitates superior force control capabilities in multiple degrees of freedom.
Within our ERC grant, we have developed a robotic platform that enables high-precision force control in multi-dimensional applications. This system meets the requirements for safe and high-fidelity body-weight supported gait training of rodents. Our system consists of exchangeable and adaptable elastic force sensing modules that can be attached to state-of-the-art macrostructure robots and enable, combined with specific control laws, highly accurate force control along 4 independent degrees of freedom. The interface consists of a compact entity that is relatively light and can be produced at low costs.
Within the ERC PoC ‘Robomed’ the goal is to develop a proposition package for potential investors. On the technical side we will create a novel prototype to validate our robotic technology, which will result in a technical report. In consultation with regulatory specialists a roadmap will be developed to obtain regulatory approval based on the norms and procedures for robotics. A patent protects our robot-assisted training and additional patentability of our findings is currently evaluated. A strategy to overcome any obstacles identified is developed. Market opportunities for our technology include translational research, restoring fine locomotor and manual tasks in humans and industrial applications. These market segments will be extensively analysed and subsequently prioritised within the commercialisation strategy. Results will be assembled in a detailed business plan that is presented to several venture capitalists, existing robotic companies and other relevant stakeholders.
Fields of science
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