Rehabilitation using Industrial Robots - Universal RoboTrainer

Study on the possibilities of rehabilitation of injuries caused e.g. by blood clots using industrial robots

20150513_UniversalRoboTrainerRehabilitation of injuries caused by blood clots and strokes is a huge and demanding task for the patient and a costly challenge for both society and the healthcare system. People having blood clots and strokes often experience loss of their functional abilities or parts thereof as a result of lack of blood supply to parts of the brain. These injuries can result in decreased muscle control and paralysis.


Rehabilitation studies have shown that performing many repetitive exercises is an effective way of getting the brain to learn to control the paralysed muscle groups, thus slowly working one's way back towards improved functioning. Depending on the nature of the functional impairment, the patient is often not in a position to perform the exercises without the help of therapists. The patient is therefore dependent on the therapist for a long time after the accident.


A Patient@home project that is based on the industrial robot Universal Robot Rainer focuses on how to use industrial robots for rehabilitation, as they are designed to make many repetitions and be flexible in relation to solving many different tasks.


Rehabilitation using industrial robots

The idea behind the project is that both patients and society can benefit from using industrial robots as training partners for specialised and personal rehabilitation tasks.


The robots must be able to support patients making specific movements that let them regain their functional capacity, by physically leading their arm, for instance, in the trajectory to be trained. Sensors in the robot will help determine how much the patient needs to be supported, so that the exercise is neither too hard nor too easy, but automatically adapted to the level and individual progress of the patient.


The project will also focus on making it easy for therapists to set up specific training programmes for each patient. Making robot training more motivating to ensure the most efficient rehabilitation process is another issue to be looked upon.


Expected results

It is expected that the project will provide a good insight into what is technologically required in order to carry out rehabilitation programmes by means of industrial robots. Likewise, the project will provide examples of functional exercises that are reasonably practicable to do with an industrial robot. In addition, the project will expectedly come up with new perspectives on how to make the programming of the robot available for therapists. Last but not least, the project is expected to provide a solid understanding of how the interaction between human and robot can be realized, including through movement.


The project is conducted in close cooperation with Odense University Hospital's Neurorehabilitation Centre at Ringe.

Contact PersonJacob  

Jacob   Nielsen

Associate professor, PhD

Syddansk Universitet, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Instituttet



Syddansk Universitet, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Instituttet

Jacob   Nielsen



Syddansk Universitet, Institut for Idræt og Biomekanik

Per  Kjær

Email:  LOADEMAIL[pkjaer]DOMAIN[]


Innovationsnetværket RoboCluster

Conny  Heidtmann



Odense Universitetshospital - Neurorehabilitering, Sygehusenhed Ringe

Anne Friis   Hansen

Email:  LOADEMAIL[anne.friis.hansen]DOMAIN[]