Social Robots
    Compliant Actuation
    Exoskeletons & Prosthetics

Robots & Multibody Mechanics (R&MM)

At a glance:
  • Faculty: Engineering
  • 39 researchers
  • 1 ERC Grant
  • Main areas of expertise:
    • Compliant, safe, energy efficient and self healing actuators
    • Assistive and rehabilitation exoskeletons
    • Energy efficient and lightweight powered prostheses
    • Implementing robotic co-workers (cobots) in industry
    • (Supervised) Autonomous Human Robot Interaction, with focus on children and older people.

List of publications can be found here

The Robots & Multibody Mechanics (R&MM) Research Group from the Faculty of Engineering is involved in both fundamental and applied research on Human-Centered Robotics for more than 20 years. Her current research covers 2 main domains (pHRI and cHRI) and is applied mainly in the manufacturing industry and in healthcare. With several EU H2020 and FP7 projects, a leading role in the Strategic Research Center Flanders Make of the Flemish Government, and with solid partnerships with companies ranging from multinationals to SME's, R&MM is one of the leading research groups on the topic of Human Robotics in Belgium and Europe.

Physical Human-Robot Interaction (pHRI)

R&MM is a leading expert on compliant actuation, with a strong focus on safe and energy efficient compliant actuation. Recently they have also started with ground-breaking work on self-healing actuation. Using the developed actuators, R&MM develops several prototypes for rehabilitation and assistive exoskeletons, bionic prostheses and human-augmentation devices.


Cognitive/social Human-Robot Interaction (cHRI)

H2020 Dream Project

R&MM develops social robots and investigates their use in for example robot enhanced psychotherapies for children with mental disorders or for elderly care. R&MM both uses its in-house developed Probo robot as well as 3rd party robots, such as the NAO from Aldebaran. The EU H2020 project aims for example to deliver the next generation robot-enhanced therapy (RET) for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Collaborative robots in the manufacturing industry

A new generation of industrial robots make closer human-robot collaboration on the workfloor possible. These "cobots" or "collaborative robots" are a great way to complement a human's intelligence, creativity and dexterity with a robot's strength, precision and reliability. Together with other BruBotics research groups, R&MM searches to improve these new kinds of robots and studying the new range of possibilities that these robots can offer to the manufacturing industry.

Featured projects

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ClaXon: cobots in the industry

iMinds ICON Project ClaXon: Towards a Smoother Human-Robot Collaboration in the Manufacturing Industry

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AltaCro: Rehabilitation exoskeleton

ALTACRO rehabiliation exoskeleton: Automated Locomotion Training using an Actuated Compliant Robotic Orthosis

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Self-Healing Actuators

Self-Healing Actuators Make Breaking Your Robot No Big Deal

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Cyberlegs: lower-limb prosthesis

EU FP7 project Cyberlegs: Cybernetic Lower-Limb cognitive Ortho-Prosthesis. Image: (c) Massimo Brega

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MIRAD: a lower limb assistive exoskeleton

IWT SBO MIRAD: an integrated Methodology to bring Intelligent Robotic Assistive Devices to the user, with a lower-limb exoskeleton as demonstrator.

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H2R: Human-like locomotion

The EU FP7 project H2R aims to demonstrate human-like gait and posture in a controlled compliant biped robot

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Dream: the next generation robot-enhanced therapy

The EU FP7 Dream project aims to deliver the next generation of Robot-Enhanced Therapy (RET) for children with autism.

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SPEAR: Series-Parallel Actuators for Robotics

The ERC Starting Grant of prof. Bram Vanderborght

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Spexor back support exoskeleton

The EU H2020 Spexor project: Preventing low-back pain with a novel and effective spinal exoskeleton

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Exskallerate: Boosting SME adoption of exoskeletons

INTERREG EXSKALLERATE: Boosting SME adoption of exoskeletons in construction and manufacturing industries

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SHERO: Self-Healing Soft Robotics

Horizon 2020 FET Open: Developing fully-autonomous self-healing soft robotic devices

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SOPHIA: deploying robots for improved ergonomy

EU H2020 SOPHIA: Three BruBotics research groups joining forces to improve our work

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SAFER: Rehabilitation Robot

A robot that can feel what a therapist feels when treating a patient, that can adjust the intensity of rehabilitation exercises at any time according to the patient's abilities and needs, and that can thus go on for hours without getting tired: it seems like fiction, and yet researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and imec have now finished a prototype that unites all these skills in one robot.

In het kort:

De onderzoeksgroep robotica van de ingenieursfaculteit spitst zich toe op onderzoek naar zowel fysieke als cognitieve mens robot interactie. Daarbij ontwikkelt ze of voert ze onderzoek naar exoskeletons, protheses, collaboratieve robots, sociale robots, actuatoren, zelfhelende robots en humanoide robots. 





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