Rehabilitation is a treatment designed to facilitate the process of recovery from injury, illness, or disease to as normal a condition as possible. As more and more people lose control of their motor skills, the demand for supporting technologies will increase. Technology that helps with rehabilitation, technology that supports strenuous activities, and technology such as advanced and smart prosthetics
In order to get an understanding of what we‘re talking about, we’ll first present definitions for a robot and a service robot.
A robot is defined as "an actuated mechanism programmable in two or more axes with a degree of autonomy, moving within its environment, to perform intended tasks. Autonomy in this context means the ability to perform intended tasks based on current state and sensing, without human intervention".
Service robots are defined as "robots that perform useful tasks for humans or equipment, excluding industrial automation application".
So what is the common denominator between robotics and rehabilitation and why are the two linked? Rehabilitation robotics is supports rehabilitation through the application of robotic technology. This can happen by increasing the effectiveness or the efficiency of existing treatments. In theory, it is also possible to come up with completely new trreatment possibilities although as of yet the focus lies with improving existing procedures.
Rehabilitation robotics is one of the strong points of the eastern Netherlands. Organizations that specialize in this area are among others Hankamp Rehab, Roessingh Research and Development, the University of Twente, and Focal Meditech. For an overview of products and innovations, check out our projects page.