Main research topics

Active and passive exoskeletons for support of motor function

Active (motorized) and passive orthoses or exoskeletons support the rehabilitation and execution of everyday movements.

In the case of passive exoskeletons, it is mainly gravity compensation mechanisms that make it possible to carry out movements with less muscle power.

In active exoskeletons additional joint moments are applied by actuators.
MUNDUS - MUltimodal Neuroprosthesis for Daily Upper limb Support (FP7)

RETRAINER - REaching and grasping Training based on Robotic hybrid AssIstance for Neurological patients: End users Real life evaluation (H2020)  , opens an external URL in a new window

functional representation of a (right) arm
Elbow joint exoskeleton on arm
Patient sits in wheelchair with arm exoskeleton
Wheelchair user sits at table with arm exoskeleton
Exoskeleton mounted on wheelchair and woman
Exoskeleton on bent arm from front

Assistive systems and their optimization

Assistive systems support people with impaired motor functions with the aim to achieve a high degree of autonomy in everyday life.  

Optimized wheelchair drive

Development of an alternative wheelchair drive for more efficient locomotion with reduced stress on the joint structures.

The KURT wheelchair with the drive folded upwards
The KURT wheelchair with folded down drive in front of a wall
Person in wheelchair with new ,,KURT" drive
Person in wheelchair with new ,,KURT" drive

After activation, data may be transmitted to third parties. Data protection declaration., opens in new window

"K.U.R.T" - Ergonomic Wheelchair Propulsion Device

Braille ring

Development of a handy, compact reader for Braille, in which the sequences of letters are displayed on a rotating ring.

Braille reader in ring shape

Braille Ring

Braille Ring

Braille Ring

Training device for space

Multifunctional Dynamometer for Application in Space

Development of a computer-assisted training and diagnostic device for fitness training, as well as strength and endurance performance diagnostics, for long-term missions in space. The device enables a versatile comprehensive strength training of the limb and core muscles to counteract the breakdown of muscles and bones in weightlessness. The MDS training device participated in the 'Mars 500' study, in which a crew of 6 was isolated for 520 days in an environment that simulated a flight to Mars.

Person pulls on bar with both hands to show rowing function of MDS, photographed from the side
Person pulls on bar with both hands to show rowing function of MDS, Start position photographed from diagonally behind
Person shows device setting and basic position for situps with the MDS
Person pushes up bar with both hands with suits mounted on both sides

Restoration of motor function through functional electrical stimulation

Functional electrostimulation (FES) is the electrical stimulation of a muscle directly or indirectly via the motor nerves to perform a muscle contraction. By electrostimulation of skeletal muscles in defined stimulation patterns motor functions can be restored - eg walking or cycling for paraplegic persons.

Patient on the FES bike
FES bike

Modelling and simulation of normal and pathological human movement

Biomechanical musculoskeletal models in combination with movement simulations and experimental investigations provide information on muscle function and causes of pathological movements; Optimization methods are used to investigate the effects of interventions in the musculoskeletal system (eg. surgery).

Malposition leg normal and shown on bone level
Graphic representation of the soft tissue structures in the legs - color-coded

Minaturized assistive devices for the cardiopulmonary system.

Miniaturized systems consisting of pump and drive units that can be inserted minimal invasively.

ASSISTOCOR - Development and optimization of a pneumatically operated heart catheter pump to support blood ejection from the left ventricle.

LIQUICLEAR / MILL - Development and optimization of a membrane catheter with integrated drive unit to support the gas exchange in the lungs. Minimally invasive insertion into the vena cava minimizes additional strain on the organism.

Two small 3D printed pump parts versus a dime
Representation of the heart with inserted heart pump
Inner workings of the heart pump