Robotics at the rehabilitation service

Robotics in rehabilitation

Heaxel, Italian company based in Rome, designs and develops innovative medical devices for robot-mediated rehabilitation. Heaxel’s first product is icone®, an innovative intelligent robotic system to support neurorehabilitation therapies, designed for patients with neurological damage. 

Given the importance of the interaction between the patient and the robot, under development, Heaxel needed to use a sensitive element to measure movements and forces. For this reason, the company decided to turn to Meko, a distributor specializing in collaborative robotics solutions. After a careful analysis of the main offerings, the Heaxel engineering team decided to rely on OnRobot and the HEX sensor.

“In robotic rehabilitation, it is essential to guarantee a high level of safety: this is ensured by measuring with high accuracy the force, in intensity and direction, that is exchanged between the robot and the patient to whom the rehabilitation therapy is administered.” underlines Jacopo Tosi, Biomedical Engineer and R&D Manager of Heaxel. “The OnRobot sensor responded best to our process measurement, control and safety needs.”

In detail, the OnRobot HEX sensor provides accurate force and torque measurements along all 6 axes, integrates perfectly into any type of robotic application and ensures precise movement control. 

“We chose the OnRobot sensor for its simplicity of connection during the data acquisition phase, a key element in the application of icone®, and for its reduced need for maintenance guaranteed by the optical sensor technology, which allows us to focus on our core business without risk, ” highlights Iacopo Portaccio, Biomedical Engineer and Production Manager at Heaxel.

Heaxel has equipped a HEX sensor in each icone® system to measure the interaction forces when the robot is used by the patient during a rehabilitation session.

The commercial phase has just begun, but icons are already present in some Italian and European hospitals. Thanks to the FDA registration, it is also opening up to the US market and at the beginning of 2021 commercial activities will begin in the Asia-Pacific area.



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