The main objective of the SoftPro project is to fulfil Henry Ford’s vision to assist people with upper limb amputations or motor disabilities providing them with robotics-enabled aids. To do so, we need not only to produce new technology and better performing devices; we also need to make the technology accessible to and affordable for real people with real needs.
In order to achieve this, 16 of the best international research organizations and companies in the field of robotics and rehabilitation science and technology from the EU, USA and Japan are collaborating in this Horizon 2020 project in which dozens of PhD students and PostDocs will be appointed in seven countries. The University of Twente is participating in this project based on its international renowned reputation of advanced sensing and robotics for assistive and rehabilitation purposes.
Research on sensory interfacing will investigate and develop distributed sensory modalities for interfacing from the natural (arm, hand, skin, etc.) to the artificial (sensing, robotics, etc.) domain. These distributed sensory modalities are to be integrated in flexible shell-like structures for the support of arm and hand function and will integrate sensing of neuromuscular activation, kinematics and interaction forces, applying various, including differential, analysis methods of these quantities. Tasks include the analysis of requirements for multimodal distributed sensing for user intention identification and control of intelligent flexible arm support structures, development of sensing structures needed to implement the required sensory modalities in 3D printed flexible structures, development of various methods to analyze this sensory information in the involved physical domains, and integration of this multimodal distributed sensory system in the SoftPro intelligent flexible arm support that other partners in the SoftPro project are working on.
2016 – …