Heidelberg researchers participating in EU exoskeleton project
Using robotic assistance to prevent or mitigate back pain – that is the goal of a new European research project whose members include researchers from the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) of Heidelberg University. Project scientists plan to develop an exoskeleton for the human spine that provides support during heavy physical work.
The European Union is funding the project with nearly four million euros. A robotic suit of this type can also be used for rehabilitation. The research team in Heidelberg led by Prof. Dr. Katja Mombaur will develop a computerised human model depicting all the muscles in order to simulate the lower spine. Their work is being funded in the amount of 680,000 euros. The four-year SPEXOR project is scheduled to start in January 2016.
“Exoskeleton robots are like shells, worn over parts of the body or the entire body, much like clothing. They can compensate for individual physical limitations by improving the mobility of the arms and legs, for example,” explains Katja Mombaur, head of the “Optimization in Robotics and Biomechanics” research group.
The researchers from various disciplines working on the SPEXOR project now intend to develop an exoskeleton for the spine to prevent lower back pain and to help treat complaints. Mombaur, a mathematician and computer scientist, is researching movement processes in the human body. She is modelling and simulating the processes on the computer in order to transfer them to robots.
In the SPEXOR project, the researchers from Heidelberg will model and optimise human-exoskeleton interaction. They are developing a human model with muscles that simulate the lower spine, and intend to design both passive and active exoskeletons.
They will also analyse the behaviour of people suffering from lower back pain and appropriate relief mechanisms in order to subsequently optimise the exoskeleton design for prevention and rehabilitation. The researchers will also design control strategies for exoskeletons.
The Jozef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia, is coordinating the “Spinal Exoskeletal Robot for Low Back Pain Prevention and Vocational Reintegration (SPEXOR)” project. Other partners include the Free University of Brussels in Belgium, the Amsterdam University Medical Center in the Netherlands, and a number of medical technology and rehabilitation companies.
Prof. Dr. Katja Mombaur
Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing
Phone: +49 6221 54-8867
Communications and Marketing
Phone +49 6221 54-2311
Marietta Fuhrmann-Koch | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University
Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy