Biorobotics InSTITUTE RESEARCHER WINS THE angi innovation AWARD FOR THE “rise” project

Stefano Mazzoleni, researcher at Sant’Anna School Biorobotics Institute, has been awarded the ANGI (Italian National Association for Young Innovators) prize in the Industry & Robotics category for his RISE project developed in partnership with INAIL Rehabilitation Centre (Volterra).

The ANGI Award Ceremony will take place on Friday, December 14, at the Chamber of Deputies, 9.00 am. The European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education and the Inter-Parliamentary Innovation Group support the initiative. The RISE wheelchair device is an innovative application for human-robot collaboration. This smart-powered wheelchair enhances the mobility of people with disabilities lifting patients from a sitting position into a robot-supported standing position. The RISE device enables users to spend more time standing, walking and exercising and may offer significant health benefits as disabled individuals are at risk of developing medical complications from extended periods of sitting. The chair has six wheels that help the patients to become more independent and it can be steered remotely by using an app and a smart phone. Researchers have designed hardware interfaces to control the wheelchair’s motors and to integrate wireless technologies based on the use of smartphones with machine learning techniques. One of their main objectives is to improve the adequacy of the use of a wheelchair to the highest number of users with mobility problems, regardless of the degree of disability, in order to favor their social integration.

Stefano Mazzoleni, as the scientific coordinator and the RISE project manager, is currently working with Professor Maria Chiara Carrozza, and Massimo De Felice, President of INAIL association. The CRM INAIL Centre in Volterra is testing the RISE robot for clinical effectiveness and safety, as assistive robots must undergo regulatory approval before they can used in homes and clinical settings. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

The ANGI association works together engineers and researchers to enhance patients’ well-being, to decrease the workload on caregivers and to enhance the employability of disabled people.