• Postal address

    Fredrik Bajer Vej 7, D3

    9220 Aalborg

    Denmark

Organization profile

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Head of research centre: 

Lotte N. S. Andreasen Struijk 

 

Participants and partners? 

The center is interdisciplinary and anchored at Aalborg University with participation of: 

In addition, we collaborate with external partners, e.g. Aarhus University, Aalborg University Hospital: Izabella Obál and Lotte Vinge, neurologists within amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and with West Denmark Center for Spinal Cord Injuries. Further, the center shares knowledge and spars with the Rehabilitation Center for Muscular Dystrophy.  

All interested parties from other departments of Aalborg University and international interested parties can be part of the center network. 

Who are we?  

We are an interdisciplinary group of researchers with expertise within the topics related to rehabilitation robotics, covering biomedical engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, human centered designers, neurologists, otolaryngologists and partners from rehabilitation centers, user organizations and industry. 

What are our fundamental goals/objectives? 

In addition to the core research, the center activities are to: 

  • Strengthen application-oriented research in the use of robotics to increase the quality of life and independence of individuals with severe paralysis due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), stroke, spinal cord injury and similar disorders.  
  • Develop and evaluate new rehabilitation robots and robot interfaces that can be adapted to the functionality of the users 
  • Ensure the applicability of the research results through interdisciplinary research at a high international level with a holistic approach involving the users 
  • Form a bridge  between users, clinicians, researchers and companies across disciplines, both nationally and internationally 
  • Perform a core research project on: Intelligent Hybrid Light Weight Tendon Based Exoskeleton for Severely Disabled Individuals (https://vbn.aau.dk/da/projects/intelligent-hybrid-light-weight-tendon-based-exoskeleton-for-seve)  
  • Promote rehabilitation robotics research and collaboration both at Aalborg University and with external partners (researchers, users, clinicians, municipalities, companies, etc.) through, e.g. workshops and collaboration with other projects in the field 

Our research – what we do?  

We involve users in the design and evaluation of robotics solutions for rehabilitation adopting the broad definition of rehabilitation by WHO. Through interdisciplinary research, we develop interfaces and robots for severely disabled individuals for both clinical therapy and domestic applications. An example is the core center project on the development of a lightweight intelligent tendon-based arm exoskeleton for domestic use that can be controlled with a hybrid adaptive semiautomatic control system starting with, e.g., myoelectric signals, later tongue-based control and finally brain-based control in order to support static conditions as in spinal cord injuries and to adapt to a progressing disease such as ALS. Another example of a center-collaborative project is the development of a hybrid FES-EMG rehabilitation robot for neurorehabilitation therapy in clinical settings, which is a project conducted in collaboration with industry. 

How does our research contribute to societal health challenges?  

The society is facing major health changes due to the demographic changes towards an older population. This decreases the number of available health professionals and at the same time increases the number of individuals needing support, both in clinical and in domestic settings. As part of the field of digital health, rehabilitation robotics has a great potential to help coping with these challenges as rehabilitation robotics can: 

  • Improve the self-supportiveness and thus the quality of life of the users 
  • Reduce the physical load on the health professionals, e.g. through therapeutic robots in clinical settings 
  • Increase the societal inclusion of disabled individuals 

How are we funded? 

Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond:  DKK 6 million

Who are our key collaborators? 

Clinics/user organizations:

  • Danish Rehabilitation Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases 
  • Muskelsvindfonden  
  • RYK 
  • Vestdansk Center for Rygmarvsskade, Viborg  
  • Aalborg University Hospital  
  • Regionshospitalet 
  • Regionshospitalet Hammel Neurocenter 
  • Rigshospitalet  
  • RehabiliteringsCenter for Muskelsvind  
  • Sygehus Vendsyssel
  • Brønderslev Neurorehabiliteringscenter   
  • Vestdansk Videnscenter for Neurorehabilitering   

  Key research/ international collaborators

  • Peter Veltink, Department of Biomechanical Engineering, University of Twente, Netherlands  
  • Christian Cipriani, Professor, Director of the BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy  
  • Dario Farina, Professor, Chair in Neurorehabilitation Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, UK  
  • Roessingh Research and Development, Roessinghsbleekweg 33b, Enschede, The Netherlands 
  • Danmarks Tekniske Universitet 

Companies

  • TKS A/S 
  • Life Science Robotics 
  • TA-service  
  • Exact Dynamics, the Netherlands  
  • Assistive Innovations, the Netherlands  

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