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Nerve-controlled robot systems from Japan conquer the European market from Bochum

Nerve-controlled robot systems from Japan conquer the European market from Bochum

Newly founded Cyberdyne Care Robotics GmbH opens up new chances for patients with restricted mobility in Europe

Over the next few years, the recently established Cyberdyne Care Robotics GmbH based in Bochum wants to deploy their neuro-robotic systems for medical applications throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Prof. Yoshiyuki Sankai from Tsukuba University in Japan developed the Robot Suit, the only system to use movement impulses from the brain to support physical movement. Foto: ZNB
Prof. Yoshiyuki Sankai from Tsukuba University in Japan developed the Robot Suit, the only system to use movement impulses from the brain to support physical movement. Foto: ZNB

Nerve-controlled robot systems give patients with restricted mobility new chances to improve and increase their personal mobility. The Robot Suit HAL®, developed in Japan by Prof, Dr, Yoshiyuki Sankai at the renowned Tsukuba University and CYBERDYNE Inc., is the only system which detects movement impulses from the brain and then uses motors to support the patients movements. Training with the Robot Suit opens up new possibilities to regain independence particularly for paraplegic patients. Stroke patients and people with neuromuscular diseases can benefit from the suit as well. In Japan there are already 400 such systems in use at 160 facilities such as clinics, rehab centres or nursing homes for elderly people.

Based on the enquiries they have already received and now that the Robot Suit HAL® has been awarded CE-certification through the TÜV Rheinland, Cyberdyne Care Robotics GmbH is focussing on developing cooperations with clinics. The new company is a subsidiary of CYBERDYNE Inc., Japan. The employer liability insurance association for raw materials and the chemical industry, the BG RCI, is also to become a shareholder. Other partners in Bochum include the employer liability insurance association Berufsgenossenschaftliche Universitätsklinik Bergmannsheil GmbH and the Zentrum für Neurorobotales Bewegungstraining (ZNB). The cost for a one or two hour training session for paraplegic patients amounts to around 500 Euros. If injuries are due to accidents at work or work-related travel then the costs are taken care of by the statutory accident insurance.

Prof. Yoshiyuki Sankai and sports scientist  Jasmin Oetzel demonstrate movement training with the Robot Suit. photo: ZNB
Prof. Yoshiyuki Sankai and sports scientist Jasmin Oetzel demonstrate movement training with the Robot Suit. photo: ZNB

A special department in the new company is dedicated to application research and will continue optimizing the systems for the European market. A team, initially comprising 15 staff including doctors, therapists and technicians, will coordinate the work. Over the next three years the number of employees will increase to around 25.

The NRW-Ministry of Economic Affairs and the state agency for economic development, NRW.Invest GmbH, have been accompanying the Bochum project since its conception and have assured their long term support. NRW.Invest’s Managing Director Petra Wassner: “The success of Cyberdyne Care Robotics GmbH setting up in Bochum sees North Rhine-Westphalia attracting state-of-the-art medical technology.” With a 22% share of the nation’s overall healthcare spending, NRW is by far the largest healthcare market in Germany.

 

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