Brussels Human Robotics Research Center

At a glance: BruBotics is a multidisciplinary consortium of 8 research groups of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium, performing research on Human Robotic technology such as exoskeletons, social robots, artificial intelligence, human-robot interaction, robotic revalidation, prosthetics, collaborative robots, augment reality, drones and many other.

In het kort: BruBotics is een multidisciplinair consortium van 8 onderzoeksgroepen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel in België, gespecialiseerd in onderzoek naar menselijke robotica zoals exoskeletons, sociale robotics, artificiële intelligentie, mens-robot interactie, robot revalidatie, prothesen, collaboratieve robots en nog zoveel meer.

The VUB has a long tradition in robotics and artificial intelligence, with the founding of the very first A.I. lab in continental Europe in 1983 and the creation of a dedicated robotics lab in 1990. In 2015, BruBotics was established thanks to funding from the Flemish Industrieel Onderzoekfonds (Industrial Research Fund) because of two main findings.  

Robots and Artificial Intelligence can help humanity overcome some of its societal challenges and help turn these into economic opportunities.

The societal context favors robotics. The ageing workforce and rising healthcare costs are a growing concern for both policy makers and industry. Many see human assistive robotics as a possible solution. Robotics brings enormous opportunities, both economic and societal, and the boom in development of robotic technologies and the robotic market gives significant valorization potential for the research.

Interdisciplinarity is of crucial importance

Interdisciplinarity is key in many research and innovation domains, but is particularly so in human robotics. For a robot to interact or help a human, knowledge is needed not only on the technological (robotic) side, but also on the human side. To foster true innovation, an interdisciplinary approach must be at the heart of robotics research. As proven by the Homo Roboticus book with over 50 VUB-authors, many VUB groups can and should contribute to the robotics research.


This is why 8 research groups of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) joined forces, all sharing one vision: developing Human-Centered Robotic technology that helps our society and improves our quality of life. At the very heart of Europe, BruBo​tics was born. BruBotics is a multidisciplinary consortium of 8 research groups of the VUB, performing research on Human Robotic technology. BruBotics aims to stimulate cross-disciplinary research and bridge the gap between academia and industry and society.

A truly multidisciplinary team

By combining over 100 scientists working on topics as diverse as ageing studies, robotic mechanics, social studies, human physiology, artificial intelligence, retail, neurological revalidation, sensors, engineering,...BruBotics is able to go much further than the traditional robotics research.


World-class research

With over 50 European H2020 and FP7 projects, an ERC grant and dozens of Belgian FWO, Brussels Innoviris and Flemish projects running, the BruBotics research groups have a strong track record of performing top-notch research.


A positive story

Human Robotics helps and supports humans. Our current research on exoskeletons, robot enhanced therapy, robotic rehabilitation, social robots for elderly, cobots in the industry, bionic prosthetics…proves that the possibilities to use robotic technology to actually improve the lives of people are almost endless.


8 research groups, a wide range of expertise

Robots & Multibody Mechanics (R&MM)

Our Robotics Engineers. Social & Physical Human-Robot Interaction and safe & energy efficient compliant actuation, with applications in health and manufacturing.

Working on topics such as exoskeletons, rehabilitation robotics, collaborative robots, compliant actuation, soft robotics, self-healing robotics, bionic prostheses and more.

R&MM is a core lab of Flanders Make and imec.

Electronics & Informatics (ETRO)

Our AR, VR and signal processing experts. ETRO crosses boundaries with visionary electronics & ICT in e-Health and other domains.

Work on using A.R. in healthcare and industrial applications, V.R. in rehabilitation, serious gaming and other topics.

ETRO is also part of imec.

Belgian Ageing Studies (BAS)

How can robots increase quality of life of older people? is the central question for BAS in BruBotics.

BAS studies the environment and wellbeing of older people, and the care environments. They are the link between technology and the end-user.

Artificial Intelligence lab (AI Lab)

Robots need A.I.. Our AI Lab focusses on nature inspired Machine Learning for complex problem solving. 

Main topics include multi-agent systems, reinforcement learning, natural language and the evolution of language and more. 

Human Physiology (MFYS)

Exercise and the brain in health and disease: the added-value of Human Robotics.

The movement scientists and physiologists try to understand the impact of for instance our wearable robots on the human body.


What is the future of retail? How can technologies such as AR, VR and robotics play a role in marketing and retail?

Studies on Media, Information and Telecommunication (SMIT)

The human side of BruBotics. Sociologists aiming at understanding how humans and robots can collaborate and interact, how technology is accepted by humans and how businesses can adapt.

SMIT is also part of imec.

Neurological Rehabilitation (RERE)

RERE investigates the effectiveness of robotic assistance for neurological rehabilitation and the impact on rehabilitation psychology.

Discover the research groups and their groundbreaking work more extensively on the research page of this website.

Strong partnerships

We believe cooperation and knowledge sharing through partnerships with both industry and the academic world will boost progress in the field of Human Robotics. Therefore we welcome new partnerships and research opportunities and we gladly offer our expertise to the industry, governments and academics, through research collaborations, consulting services or trainings.

We are part of imec and Flanders make. 

BruBotics is part of FARI: the joint VUB-ULB Brussels institute for AI for the common good.

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