Workplace injuries cost European societies up to 4% of GNP. Over 25% of Europeans experience back injury due to work. Robots are traditionally inflexible to use for many manual handling tasks. The world robotics market is set to double to $66Bn pa in the next 15 years.
The goal of Robo-Mate is to apply an industry focus in developing a user-friendly intelligent cooperative light weight wearable human-robotic exoskeleton for manual handling work. It will be deployable within half a day and will not require task specific programming. Robo-Mate will be highly flexible and used directly in craft or mass production or in auxiliary processes.
Direct physical interaction using haptic technologies will be combined with perception enhancement using cognitive science programming paradigms to drive the exoskeleton.
The project comprises 12 partners from 7 European countries, including key players from industry and academia. Funded with €4.5 million by the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development of the European Union (FP7), the 3-year Robo-Mate project will be led by Prof. Dr. Hans Wernher van den Venn, Head of the Institute of Mechatronic Systems (IMS) at the Zurich University of Applied Science, Switzerland.
Simplified Robo-Mate exoskeleton