Injuries, accidents, strokes and other diseases can significantly impair the ability to perform even the simplest activities of daily living. In some cases, people can no longer manage their daily lives independently and rely on 24-hour care. In this situation, assistive technology, such as a robotic arm mounted on a wheelchair, can provide help and relief. Thus, in the Re-Enabling Robotics group, we are investigating how such assistive robotics technology can support people with physical disabilities. Following this goal, our research is twofold: On the one hand, we explore novel human-machine interfaces that enable people with severe physical disabilities to control assistive systems. On the other hand, we develop methods for autonomous and semi-autonomous control concepts that allow intuitive use of an assistance robot and provide intelligent support in performing everyday activities. We combine all these methods in our wheelchair-based assistive robot system EDAN (EMG-controlled Daily Assistant), which consists of a power wheelchair equipped with a DLR lightweight robot. This system is supposed to enable people with severe physical disabilities to perform simple daily tasks such as drinking or opening doors independently.
Jörn Vogel, Annette Hagengruber, Maged Samuel Zakri Iskandar, Gabriel Quere, Ulrike Leipscher, Samuel Bustamante Gomez, Alexander Dietrich, Hannes Höppner, Daniel Leidner, Alin Olimpiu Albu-Schäffer, "EDAN - An EMG-controlled Daily Assistant To Help People With Physical Disabilities", in: Proc. of the 2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), virtual event, 26 Oct - 24Dec 2020. [elib]
Lightweight robots combined with power wheelchairs can help restore mobility to people with disabilities.
DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).
Shared control support facilitates robot control when performing daily activities.
People with severe motor impairments can interact with their environment again by using robotic assistance systems.
Various input devices are available for our robotic system EDAN. For people with severe muscular atrophy, the use of a joystick is often no longer an option due to a lack of motor functions.