DIH-HERO project “EngageABLE”

We are pleased to announce that “EngageABLE”, a project of ABLE Human Motion in collaboration with the dutch hospital Sint Maartenskliniek, has been awarded for funding by DIH-HERO. The goal of this project is to enhance the capabilities of the ABLE Exoskeleton to promote users’ motivation and faster learning. DIH-HERO is an independent platform that connects Digital Innovation Hubs across Europe to create a network in the healthcare robotics sector.

The major aim of this call is to stimulate cross-border collaboration among pan-European companies (SME’s and slightly larger companies) which are working in the area of Healthcare Robotics. By demonstrating the feasibility of new, innovative and enhanced robotic solutions, the development of healthcare robotics is accelerated. Furthermore, the DIH-HERO Technology Demonstrators are meant to broaden the uptake of robotics solutions in healthcare and to increase future investments in healthcare robotics.

Project summary

With the population ageing, neurological diseases have increased dramatically in recent years. In the hospital, the goal of rehabilitation is successful reintegration into the community, with the recovery of walking as a key objective. This is achieved with progressive, repetitive, high-intensity training based on the principles of motor learning and neuroplasticity. Literature has shown that motivation and engagement are essential factors to an adequate rehabilitation. Robotic rehabilitation has proven to be more efficient and effective than conventional therapy to do so, but given the high number of repetitions involved it’s not always easy to keep patients motivated. Additionally, current rehabilitation robots are very heavy (>20 kg) and costly (>100 k€), limiting broad adoption and leaving the need for efficient rehabilitation unsolved. 

ABLE Human Motion has created the ABLE Exoskeleton, an innovative bilateral lower-limb exoskeleton for individuals with spinal cord injury that offers unheard characteristics in terms of weight, usability and price. The technology is currently at TRL 7, with clinical trials completed successfully in leading hospitals of Germany and Spain. 

With the “EngageABLE” project, we will enhance the capabilities of the ABLE Exoskeleton, by implementing Vibratory feedback, Gamification software and Pre-training exercises to promote patient motivation and a faster learning curve, key aspects for motor learning and neuroplasticity. Then we will validate those new features in a pilot clinical study with neurological patients at the Sint Maartenskliniek hospital in The Netherlands.

This Technology Demonstrator project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the DIH-HERO grant agreement no. 825003.




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