Mission

The Biorobotics research domain develops engineering solutions based on robotic technology to improve the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of widespread diseases in society, for example cancer, cardiovascular, strokes and mobility deficiencies. We see robotics as a pervasive technology, which can revolutionize our society by addressing the challenges we face in healthcare, daily support and collaborative work. Robotic solutions must co-exist and co-work with people to improve our way of living and wellbeing. That’s why people-centered robotics is our main focus. The interaction between people and robot(s) needs to be both natural, easy to use and adaptable, from fully operated to fully autonomous.

In our two Robotic Surgery labs, new robotic instruments and methodologies are studied to improve diagnosis and treatments for both patients and healthcare professionals. Multi-disciplinary teams of engineers, clinicians, and industrial collaborators develop solutions for a broad range of clinically-relevant challenges. Students of our bachelor and master programs in Biomedical engineering and Technical Medicine are also actively involved in these teams. The challenges vary from mri-guided breast biopsy procedures with a robotic needle manipulator to CT- and ultrasound guided robotics and needle steering, and modeling needle-tissue interactions. 

We also work on improving the quality of life for humans with a movement disorder. In the wearable robotics lab of the university, we develop new interventions and diagnostic techniques based on fundamental insight in (impaired) human motor control. The application area is in therapeutic & diagnostic robotics and assistive technologies. These foci cross many diagnostic categories, including stroke, cerebral palsy, and Parkinson’s disease. Examples of assistive technologies include exoskeletons that would enable over-ground mobility in the face of paralysis or other disorders.

Highlights

Symbitron+ exoskeleton gets ready for Cybathlon 2020

The Symbitron+ team will be participating in the powered exoskeleton race of the Cybathlon 2020 in Zürich. During the powered exoskeleton race, pilots with complete paraplegia will negotiate an obstacle course consisting of typical everyday tasks such as climbing stairs or sitting down on a chair.

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Flexible robotic suits are the future

The aim of this project is to move beyond exoskeletons and develop an autonomous, lightweight, unobtrusive and comfortable flexible robotic suit that enables patients with a complete SCI to walk in everyday situations with minimal use of crutches.

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Sunram 5: the world’s most accurate 3D-printed biopsy robot

MRI scanners know no equal when it comes to locating lesions. Unfortunately, this quality is currently not fully utilised, as needle placement is performed manually. Robotics can play an important role here. However, not all robots can be used with MRI scanners. The scanner’s strong magnetic field means materials like metals cannot be used. That is why the UT, in cooperation with the ZGT (Ziekenhuis Groep Twente), developed a robot made entirely of plastic once before. The Sunram 5 is its newest version.

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Needle steering with unlimited steerability

The Surgical Robotics Laboratory (SRL) develops a range of image-guided (ultrasound, magnetic resonance (MR), computed tomography (CT)) techniques to steer flexible needles for clinical interventions in several regions within the body (e.g., brain, breast, lung, liver, brain). The innovative needles used in the studies are sensorized and have unlimited steerability.

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Coordinators

prof.dr.ir. H. van der Kooij (Herman)
Full Professor Biomechatronics and Rehabilitation Technology
prof.dr.ir. S. Stramigioli (Stefano)
Full Professor

Involved research groups