H2020 ITN Project Kickoff: SimBionics

October 23rd, 2019

Public kick-off event of the H2020 ITN project SimBionics: Neuromechanical simulation and sensory feedback for the control of bionic legs

SIMBIONICS: The project and the kick-off event.

SimBionics is a newly funded H2020 project with a consortium comprising the University of Twente (NL), Roessingh Rehabilitation Center (NL), Aalborg University (DK) and Ottobock Health Care (DE). In the morning of October 23rd, you are welcome to join the project public kick-off event. During this event you will have the opportunity to listen to focused key notes on next generation bionic limbs and get engaged in discussions.

Project Summary: Robotic lower limb prostheses, or bionic legs, have underwent tremendous mechatronic advances in the past decade. However, current prosthesis control interfaces are still sub-optimal leading to inefficient walking. To address this limit, there is need for highly trained professionals that work at the intersection of academic research, clinical assessment and market translation. However, current doctoral training programs do not equip candidates with the complex skillset required to develop prosthetic limbs. SimBionics will establish a comprehensive training program that will equip Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) with the engineering, clinical and entrepreneurial skills required to bring an idea into the market. SimBionics brings together two internationally recognized academic centers, one clinical center and one of the world leading companies in prosthetics. Four ESRs will be trained to develop a radically new control interface that integrates, for the first time, neuromechanical modeling and artificial sensory feedback. This will enable bionic legs to mimic the mechanics of their biological counterparts, so that amputees perceive the prosthesis as an extension of their own body. ESR training will cover all phases of development; from technology conceptualization to translation into a successful product. ESRs will learn to investigate user and stakeholder requirements. They will learn regulatory aspects for medical products, reimbursement mechanisms, intellectual property, and elements that can block successful development. ESRs will thus receive a tailored career development plan including skills acquisition, project/teamwork management, and open science/gender aspects. Outreach activities will be realized to improve public understanding of SimBionics’ socio-economical potentials and clinical benefits. SimBionics will enhance ESRs’ career perspectives and establish a reference for technology development training program.