Active Space Technologies, Coimbra, Portugal, has received a €190,000 contract (US $244,435) within the EUREKA Eurostars Programme to develop a robotic orthopedic orthosis for elbow joints, based on aerospace technology. The news was reported by medicaldevice-network.com
Active Space Technologies, which develops technologies mainly for the aerospace market, will collaborate on the development of the orthosis with STAM, Ponzano Veneto, Italy, which builds sheet-metal-working machines; Bierens Machinefabrieken, Tilburg, Netherlands, a gears, gearboxes, and mechanical drives manufacturer; and Quantum Ortopédicos, Coimbra.
The company said the elbow orthosis will act as an exoskeleton, supporting and enhancing movement in injured arms with dynamic-controlled actuation, and helping users carry out basic tasks that were otherwise restricted due to the lack of movement. It will also have implications for military and industrial use. Under the project, the company will focus on developing the mechanical and electromechanical devices, alongside the electronics and control algorithms, which it believes would provide an ergonomic, lightweight, and powerful effector, writes medicaldevice-network.com. The project completion is schedule for 2014, at which time it will undergo testing.
Eurostars Programme is a European joint program cofunded by the European Communities and 33 EUREKA member countries, which aims to support the research and development of small and medium-sized enterprises that reinvest at least 10 percent of their total revenue generated to research activities.