MIRAD: a lower limb assistive exoskeleton
An integrated Methodology to bring Intelligent Robotic Assistive Devices to the user
MIRAD is a 4-year strategic basic research project (SBO-project) funded by IWT Flanders (government agency for Innovation by Science and Technology). The project was launched 1st of January 2013 with a total project budget of 2.974.837,77 EUR.
The main project goal is to generate generic scientific and technological knowledge that is applicable to the wider area of robotic devices that dynamically interact with humans, such as orthoses, prostheses, rehabilitation or training equipment, and teleoperation and assistive devices for industry.
There is a growing need for mechatronic devices dynamically interacting with humans. However, user satisfaction of existing devices is currently limited, not in the least because many knowledge domains are involved: mechatronics, biomechanical knowledge on human motion models, rehabilitation knowledge, and psychological aspects.
Therefore the MIRAD project brings together a unique consortium of experts from different fields to develop an integrated methodology to bring intelligent robotic assistive devices to the users. To test our methodology, we additionally focus on a challenging application in the health care sector: a bilateral intelligent active lower-limb exoskeleton to assist persons suffering from functional weakness.
The purpose of the project is not to develop a product that can be used in clinical practice by the end of the project. Follow-up R&D projects will be needed for that purpose. Apart from health care, the project targets valorization of the developed methodologies and technologies in various industrial sectors and market segments, for example sports, space, rescue, entertainment.