Experience ironHand

Do you experience a reduced grip strength during the performance of activities of daily living? Now it is your chance to try the soft-robotic glove, called ironHand, that can support reduced grip strength in daily life performance during the E-healthweek2017. There will be held one session at Roessingh Research and Development (Enschede, the Netherlands) on 23 January 2017 and one at Nationaal Ouderenfonds (Bunnik, the Netherlands) on 25 January 2017. Send an email to with your name, location and date if you would like to participate in one of the two sessions.

publication date: 19-12-2016


ironHand is one of the AAL success stories

As announced during the AAL Forum 2016 in St. Gallen, Switzerland, the ironHand project is listed as one of the success stories of AAL. We are proud to be included, especially because our project is still running. In the brochure, which is available on the AAL website under, Martin Wahlstedt from our Swedish industry partner Bioservo explains our concept on combining wearable robotic technology and computer graphics: “It is a slim glove with intuitive sensors on the fingers that detect when it is touching an object. […] Through artificial tendons it then applies the necessary force.” Add-on computer games which the user controls through this glove provide guided and enjoyable training exercises.

The glove is based on Bioservo’s wearable technology. The computer-game exercises are based on the Augmented Performance Feedback concept and technology of Hocoma, Switzerland, the second industrial partner in the project. The system, which is now in use in studies with elderly citizens in 3 European countries, received positive responses from the end users, their therapists and care organizations. The end user organizations that enabled the engineers to develop this system are National Foundation for the Elderly, Netherlands, Department of Health and Social Care, the Municipality of Eskilstuna, Sweden, and terzStiftung, Switzerland. Roessingh Research and Development, Netherlands, is supervising the studies scientifically. It is also the lead center in this project

publication date: 19-12-2016


Collaboration of Bioservo Technologies with General Motors:

A robotic glove, developed by General Motors together with NASA intended to be used on the International Space Station, will soon be utilized in industrial manufacturing through a licensing agreement between GM and the Swedish medtech company Bioservo Technologies. Bioservo is one of RRD’s collaborating partners in the HandinMind and ironHand projects.

"We will combine the best of three worlds – space technology from NASA, engineering from GM and medtech from Bioservo - in a new industrial glove. This can lead to industrial use of the technology," says Tomas Ward, president of Bioservo Technologies. Bioservo will develop a new glove, which increases efficiency while reducing fatigue in muscles and injuries. Research shows that fatigue can occur within minutes after continuous use of tools. To use a robotic glove from Bioservo will help to decrease and prevent RSI. This can save money for the individual and the society as a whole.

GM chose to collaborate with Bioservo due to their experience in the healthcare market and due to their own patented technology. The SEM Glove ™ is unique in its thin, lightweight and slim design. Furthermore, it is characterized by high wearing comfort. The SEM Glove™ made by Bioservo is available on the market, helping many already today. The Bioservo glove is based on the patented SEM ™ (Soft Extra Muscles) technology. This unique technology originated from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and the Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden.

Besides this, the SEM technology is being used in a number of international projects including HandinMind, which focuses on effective stroke rehabilitation, and the AAL project ironHand, which focuses on activities of daily living (ADL) for elderly. Both are receiving financial support from the EU.“ Besides project management of the ironHand project as a whole, RRD coordinates the clinical evaluations in a large group of elderly people and persons with a stroke in both projects.

publication date: 22-07-2016


Clinical project meeting ironHand

Eskilstuna, terzStiftung, National foundation for the elderly and Roessingh Research and Development had a clinical project meeting about the upcoming orthotic study of the ironHand project at Eskilstuna in Sweden on the 15th of October 2015. The timeline and clinical tests of the orthotic study were explained and demonstrated to the other project partners by Roessingh Research and Development. In addition, Bioservo gave an explanation of the next iteration of the ironHand glove that will be used in the orthotic study.

publication date: 11-11-2015


Interview participants feasibility study ironHand project

1.   Why did you participate in the ironHand project?
It is interesting if you can help other people who are suffering and who have received a hand injury in any way.
2.   How has it been to be involved in the project?
Fun and interesting.
3.   Would you be willing to have an ironHand glove?
Yes, I would if I did not think I should be better


1.   Why did you participate in the ironHand project?
I was asked and thought it would be fun to try out and participate in something that could be much larger, say to kids "- that I have helped to develop". It was also fun to be involved in a project.
2.   How has it been to be involved in the project?
I was curious and it was very interesting to see and feel the ironHand glove. Maybe my feedback about the glove can make it even better!
3.   Would you be willing to have an ironHand glove?
Yes maybe in the future, but I do not need it today.

publication date: 11-11-2015


ironHand at Jubileumcongres Nederlandse Vereniging voor Fysiotherapie in de Geriatrie (NVFG)

During this conference in Utrecht on 25 September 2015, different presentations and workshops were given about the opportunities of technology in geriatrics and background information on new technologies for geriatric physiotherapists. Members of the ironHand project presented an oral presentation about user requirements for assistive technology of the upper limb.

publication date: 11-11-2015


ironHand at AAL forum in Ghent

On 22-24 September 2015, the ironHand project was present at the AAL forum in Ghent, Belgium ( A pitch and poster were presented about user requirements for assistive technology identified by end-users.


publication date: 11-11-2015


ironHand at Summer School on Neurorehabilitation

The Summer School on Neurorehabilitation (SSNR) was held in Valencia from 13 to 18 September. The objective of the SSNR 2015 was to provide in depth education on advanced procedures for neurorehabilitation of motor dysfunction following different neurological disorders, covering practical applications based on innovative neuroprosthetic systems, robotic interfaces and other combinational approaches. The ironHand project presented a pitch and a poster about a wearable soft-robotic glove that has the potential to support and increase active engagement of the impaired hand during activities of daily living.

publication date: 11-11-2015


ironHand at International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR 2015)

The ironHand project was present at the ICORR 2015, which was held in Singapore from 11-14 August. The paper entitled “User-centred input for a wearable soft-robotic glove supporting hand function in daily life” was presented there. (


publication date: 11-11-2015


Feasibility tests ironHand started

The feasibility tests on the ironHand glove have started by the end user organization, involving end users that experience problems in their hand grip.

In the Netherlands the first ten participants volunteered to try out the first version of the five finger glove and the rehabilitation games. They performed a usability test and a test on activities of daily living, simulating different activities with the glove in order to define the added value of the glove.

The following sessions will take place in Sweden and Switzerland throughout the summer.
The results of the feasibility test are expected in October.

publication date: 30-07-2015


Acceptance of poster AAL Forum 2015

The proposal which RRD submitted to the AAL Forum 2015 is accepted for a poster presentation. This event is aiming at offering the participants high interactivity and hands-on experience on the ultimate technology that the AAL world can offer today.

It will combine interactive sessions and workshops with an interesting exhibition area. Initiatives from the Flanders care sectors and care living labs will be showcased while end users will be heavily involved. During the AAL Forum, colleagues from RRD will present barriers, opportunities and requirements of elderly and therapists for assistive technology targeted at physical support of arm and hand function during ADL and rehabilitation of the arm and hand. Requirements regarding practical issues, the design and usability of assistive technology will be specified. The AAL Forum 2015 will take place in Ghent (Belgium) between 22 and 25 September. See more at:

publication date: 14-07-2015


Second iteration of the prototype

The second iteration of the integrated prototype was delivered after one year after the start of the ironHand project. This prototype consists of an assistive system and a therapeutic system. Both systems will be iteratively tested with elderly people in the next months.

publication date: 13-07-2015


Article ironHand in terzBulletin

publication date: 2-07-2015


ironHand at International Congress on Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

On 21 and 22 May 2015, the ironHand project was present at the International Congress on Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair at Maastricht, The Netherlands ( This conference was organized by the Dutch and Belgian Societies for neurorehabilitation that will bridge the gap between neuroscience and practice. The results of a focus group study to identify user requirements and attitudes towards assistive technology were presented by means of a poster presentation


publication date: 2-06-2015


Paper accepted for International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR 2015)

The paper entitled “User-centred input for a wearable soft-robotic glove supporting hand function in daily life” has been accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE 11th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics. This paper will be presented by the ironHand project during this conference to be held in Singapore during 11-14 August 2015 (

publication date: 2-06-2015


Update ironHand project year 1

The project officially started in May 2014 and runs for three years. A project press release in the second month resulted in widely coverage attention for the ironHand project in the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland, among them national news articles, national TV interview and broadcast, national TV’s newsroom, national and regional radio and shares in social media (look here for an overview). Until April 2015, production and release of 11 deliverables has been coordinated, and 4 project meetings have been held, including 2 Steering Group meetings.

Kick-off_at_RRD_may_2014 meeting_nov_2014
ironHand consortium
(Left: at Roessingh Research and Development, the Netherlands, May 2014; Right: at Bioservo, Sweden, November 2014)

During the first year, technical partners worked on the development of the ironHand system, which consists of an Assistive System (1 and 2 in Figure 1) and a Therapeutic System (3 and 4 in Figure 1). Other hardware modules can be connected with the Therapeutic System as well (5 in Figure 1).

Figure 1 ironHand system

The first version of the Assistive System hardware and firmware specification (released September 2014) contains 14 different modules and demonstrates the hand closing/opening and intention detection functionality, using Bioservo’s current SEM Glove with additional hand opening functionality using passive leaf springs. This resulted in achievement of the first milestone (system and module specifications ready), which was officially approved during the Steering Group meeting in Stockholm, November 2014.

In the meantime, the end-user organizations (National Foundation for the Elderly, Roessingh Research and Development, the Netherlands; Eskilstuna, Sweden; TerzStiftung, Switzerland) collected information from existing literature about user perspectives of assistive technology, to provide early input for functional requirements of the ironHand system. In addition, two rounds of focus groups with in total 25 elderly people and 18 therapists were organized by the end-user organizations to get more specific information of user perspectives of wearable robotic assistive devices for the upper limb. All data have been integrated into a report, describing the major findings of the user requirements identification. This information was used for software development and integration, in addition to a software development process according to international standards (IEC62304:2006 and IEC 60601-1:2005). A first integrated product with initial training software was released in September 2014. Development of the ironHand system is ongoing for the release of the second milestone (early prototype ready), which is planned for May 2015. The ironHand system will be iteratively tested with the involvement of elderly people in the three countries. Trial protocols for testing and evaluation of the ironHand system were prepared, starting with a feasibility study which is planned to start in June 2015.


ironHand at Domotics and Smart Living Fair

On the 19th and 20th of November 2014 the IronHand project was represented at the Domotics and Smart Living Fair in Eindhoven the Netherlands. The IronHand project had a stand where a prototype of the glove was presented to the participants. Many visitors gave the glove a try to experience the gripping effect of the glove.

domotics_and_smart_living_fair-1                              domotics_and_smart_living_fair-2


ironHand brochure

The first ironHand information brochure is available, which gives an overview of the project and foreseen results. This brochure will be handed out at conferences or during workshops, and can also be found here.

ironhand_system                    ironhand_system

publication date: 24-04-2015


Start of the IronHand project

The 3-year project IronHand, funded by the European Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) programme (topic "ICT-based Solutions for Supporting Occupation in Life of Older Adults” of the AAL Sixth Call for Proposals), will start on May 1, 2014. During the first physical meeting between all partners, the project will be kicked off on May 8-9. The kick off meeting will be held at the offices of the project coordinator, Roessingh Research and Development (Enschede, the Netherlands).

publication date: 15-04-2014