Biorobotics

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Become an expert in developing, improving, and enhancing robots and other mechatronic systems that are used to benefit the healthcare sector.

Robotics play an increasingly important role within healthcare. Think of robotic exoskeletons training paralysed patients to walk, surgical robots assisting surgeons in the operating room, or computerised bionic legs enabling amputees to walk. If you are interested in developing, improving, and enhancing robots and other mechatronic systems that are used to benefit the healthcare sector, the specialisation in Biorobotics is the right choice for you. From determining requirements to designing and testing prototypes to evaluating them in a (pre-)clinical setting; you will gain the knowledge and skills needed for the realisation of different types of robots within healthcare, used to support either patients or clinicians.

“Studying Biorobotics, you will become an expert in creating the perfect interaction between humans and robots, because of the added value of your in-depth biological knowledge of the human body.”
Edwin van Asseldonk, associate professor in the department of Biomechanical Engineering

What is Biorobotics?

How can a robot perform certain functions that are perfectly aligned with human intents? That is one of the key questions you will deal with in this specialisation. You will not only learn to understand what it takes to design a robot from a mechatronic perspective, but you will also be able to measure and include human signals and responses in the control of a robot. To be able to do so, you will gain knowledge in areas such as control theory, advanced programming, biomedical product design, simulation and modelling, as well as physiology, anatomy, and rigid body dynamics. You will learn to deal with relevant, real-life challenges that are of topical interest in today’s clinical practice.

Examples of courses you will follow during this specialisation:
  • What does it take to understand disturbed movement control in persons with spinal cord injury? The course Identification of Human Physiological Systems will teach you the signal analysis techniques to identify control systems in the human body.
  • Learn about the mechatronic design and control of biorobotic devices and use this knowledge to design your own controller based on a human biomechanical model in the course Biomechatronics.
  • The course Control Systems Design for Robotics will teach you about the dynamics of multi-degree-of-freedom robotic systems, how to analyse whether you can control them, how to control them robustly and how to create stable controllers for interaction with humans.

This specialisation focuses on three key areas: wearable robotics, aimed at augmenting, training or supplementing human motor function; rehabilitation robotics, aimed at promoting recovery and also reducing the physical load of therapists; and surgical robots, aimed at aiding clinicians in performing procedures inside the body of the patients.

Within these areas, there’s a great variety of interesting challenges you can address. For example, how can you make robots more light-weighted, compact and user-friendly? Or how can you build intelligence into a robotic system? You might for example focus on the development of a knee- or ankle prosthesis that can prevent extra strain on the other knee or ankle, or you could improve the accuracy of a robot performing minimally invasive heart surgery. And what about developing wearable robots that can prevent low back and shoulder injuries in workers? Within the innovative TechMed Centre, you will be able to contribute to cutting-edge research.

What will you learn?

As a graduate of this Master's and this specialisation, you have acquired specific, scientific knowledge, skills and values, which you can put to good use in your future job.

  • Knowledge

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • have knowledge of the design, mechanics and control of robotic devices that are used in the diagnosis, care or cure of people;
    • have an understanding of human movement control and biomechanics;
    • understand how humans and machines can interact.
  • Skills

    After successfully finishing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • can derive a model of (part of) the human body and/or a robotic device for the control of the robotic device;
    • are able to measure signals from the human body as well as hardware and use these to control robotic devices;
    • can design or adjust a controller for a robotic device and evaluate the performance of the controller itself and its interaction with the human body.
  • Values

    After completing this Master’s specialisation, you:

    • are aware of ethical, legal and societal aspects of the application of robotic devices in medicine and use this knowledge in your (scientific) work;
    • can identify gaps in your knowledge and you have a mindset to enhance and extend your knowledge through study;
    • are aware of differences in the needs of different stakeholders, like patients, clinicians and other end-users and take these into account in the development and improvement of medical robotic devices.

Other master’s and specialisations

Is this specialisation not exactly what you’re looking for? Maybe one of the other specialisations suits you better. Or find out more about related Master’s:

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