Project start: April 1st

Project update: May/June 2019

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report
and main results achieved so far (For the final period please include an overview of the results
and their exploitation and dissemination)

The project started with identifying the high-level requirements of the two different systems based
on experience from previous research projects and initial trials with real users (WP1). Significant
development of software and hardware was done with focus on usability, comfort, product cost,
performance and producibility (WP2, WP3). A cloud-based data collection system was developed
(WP3). Initial service models were developed (WP1) together with an initial exploitation plan (WP6).
User trials for both the assist/prevent and rehabilitation use case were prepared and will start within
short (WP4). A dissemination plan was created, and a number of key disseminations activated were
performed (WP5). Certification strategies for the assist/prevent and rehabilitation use cases were
developed and a first product resulting from the project was tested according to relevant safety
standards and CE-marked (WP6). Cooperation has been initiated with an external manufacturing
partner to enable production scale-up (WP6).

A highlight is that a first product has been launched as a result of the project – Ironhand, the world's
first soft robotic muscle strengthening system. Ironhand strengthens the worker’s grip and supports
potential lack of endurance to support ergonomically challenging work situations.
Progress beyond the state of the art, expected results until the end of the project and potential
impacts (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project
so far)

This project goes beyond the state-of-the-art devices by using an intention detection logic that activates
the support if the user initiates the movement by a natural and intuitive movement intention. The
devices have actuators that can respond immediately and in a natural way in order to facilitate
the intended movement. Specific algorithms have been improved so that the force provided by the
actuators doesn’t replace the natural force by the user but complementing it.
Optimization of mechatronics has been made which involves reducing the size, weight and number of
components of the system. This contributes to lower production costs for the company and improves
the usability of the system. By reducing the size of the unit, the product is more comfortable to wear.
Multiple improvements have been made with the aim to improve the product from an ergonomic

The socio-economic impact of the usage of this technology can be significant. With the possibility
for patients for rehabilitation in a shorter amount of time, in their home environment, the number of
resources needed for these patients will be reduced. This provides a possibility to allocate resources
within the healthcare system in another way. Companies actively preventing musculoskeletal disorders
will decrease the number of sickness absence for employees. These companies will not have a loss
of productivity, revenue or profitability.

The further development of these products relates to 2 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals
defined by the UN, number 10. Reduce Inequalities and number 5. Gender Equality. The usage of the
Ironhand product will help bridge the gap of the individual’s physical capacity. The development of
these products will result in a more equal workplace and society.