Focal Meditech BV
Focal Meditech BV is an independent Dutch manufacturer, importer, exporter and supplier of high end assistive technology. The Focal line of products involves a.o. Assistive robotics, Dynamic Arm Supports and R&D for third parties.

Focal is importer and distributor for various European countries of robotarm Jaco. Jaco is the most modern and easiest to operate personal robot for disabled persons. Focal developments allow for the equipment of various user interfaces and controls. Focal also is the proud manufacturer of Personal Robot Bridgit. Further robotic products from Focal are robot seal Paro for person with dementia and mealtime robot MySpoon. The firm is market leader in Europe in the production and sales of dynamic arm supports.

Focal is coordinator of the McArm project. Outcomes of the McArm project should lead to a better understanding and position of active Dynamic Arm Supports in general. Based on the two prototypes to be developed in this project one or more innovative products are expected as additions of Focal's product portfolio in this domain. Focal has own state of the art R&D, prototyping and production capacity. Together with the project partners the firm strives for a better position for the Assistive Technology industry in the southern Netherlands.



Zuyd University
The Research Centre for Technology in Care at Zuyd University plays an important role in initiating and stimulating technical innovation in long term care. Two focuses are on care at a distance and applications of robotics in health care. Together with carers, professionals, businesses, and end-users, this centre performs research and innovation. Acquired knowledge can be used by professionals, end-user, as well as by the education at Zuyd University. The application of technology is central to the work. Technology is seen as one of the most promising solutions to meet the rapidly growing needs for care in a shortage labour market.

In the first stages of the McARM project, Zuyd university cooperates with the partners in order to clarify needs and preferences of the potential McARM users. Trying to answer questions like: "What are important activities for users to perform, and how can this be achieved by using an arm support" And "What practical limitations do users encounter while using it?" This is done by performing interviews with users, professionals and by exploring literature. Zuyd University will contribute to the subsequent translation of these results into the functional requirements. This will be used as a basis for the development of the first McARM prototype. In a later stage, Zuyd university will be involved in evaluation this prototype on usability and user satisfaction.



Eindhoven University of Technology
Robotics research at the Mechanical Engineering of the Eindhoven University of Technology focuses on the role of robotics for care (domotics) and cure (medical robotics).

The transition from (static) ICT domotics towards moving intelligent systems is starting. Autonomous and tele-operated robots are being developed to work in household situations and to support elderly. In this application field we are focussing on the design of low cost standardized care robots, and perform research into the domain of environmental aware and self-learning systems (see e.g. RoboEarth). An important demonstrator here is our AMIGO robot.

A different field of robotics for healthcare is the use of robots in the operating theatre. Here, robotic minimally invasive surgery solves challenges surgeons cope with while performing conventional minimally invasive surgery. We developed the surgical robot Sofie, being a compact rigid design, allowing force-feedback, high precision control and easy access to the patient. A second application is a master slave robot for eye surgery, in particular vitreo-retinal eye surgery.

In the McArm project, we are focussing on the analysis, modeling and control of the Motion Controlled Arm support. More specifically, a force controller is being developed, aiming to achieve the requested assistive behavior.



Radboud University Nijmegen - Medical Centre
The Radboud University Nijmegen - Medical Centre advances human knowledge by conducting biomedical, translational and clinical research in order to improve wellbeing. It is home to several research institutions, including the Nijmegen Centre for Evidence Based Practice (NCEBP). The NCEBP conducts research that is aimed at individual patients and patient populations, and in a preventative sense also at healthy populations. The NCEBP is often involved in the development and evaluation of guidelines and protocols, both nationally and internationally. But the NCEBP is also involved in a broader sense, in all manner of policy issues concerning healthcare, thus bridging the gap between science and society.

At the department of Rehabilitation (part of the NCEBP), there is ample clinical experience in the application of orthoses in particular in patients with neuromuscular disease and different orthopaedic conditions. Various studies involving people with among others Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy are executed. Examples are an intervention study on the effect of training legs and arms in boys with Duchenne (No Use is Disuse study), a feasibility study of the use of questionnaires to determine limitations in arm-hand function in boys with Duchenne and a pilot 3D kinematics analysis study of arm function in boys with Duchenne. Moreover, a study to psychometric properties of measurement instruments in neuromuscular disorders has been performed.

The department is involved in the McArm project in investigating arm- and hand functionality in various neuromuscular diseases (e.g. FHSD and limb-girdle dystrophy) and in evaluating the McArm.



The National Aerospace Laboratory NLR (Nationaal Lucht- en Ruimtevaartlaboratorium) is one of the Dutch Major Technological Institutes which perform a large part of the applied research in the Netherlands, each within its own specific technology field. As an independent non-profit organisation, NLR is the central institute for aerospace research in The Netherlands. A staff of approximately 700 people is employed at two sites, one located in Amsterdam, and the other in the Noordoostpolder (about 100 km north-east of Amsterdam). Over two-thirds of the staff is graduate from universities or technical colleges, with a large variety in specialised professions such as aircraft engineers, psychologists, mathematicians and physicists. This variety is necessary for ensuring the broad expertise that is needed for coping with mostly challenging problems in the aerospace sector.

Research and development work is carried out on a project basis with great synergy between divisions and departments. Strong emphasis is laid on a customer oriented approach.

Work under research contracts (national and international, government and industry) amounts to 75 percent of NLR's activities, the remaining 25 percent is funded by the Dutch government for basic demand-oriented research programmes and development of research equipment. Depending on the project and the customer's preferences, NLR acts as a sole contractor or as a subcontractor cooperating with other institutes or partners from industry.

NLR is member of the Advisory Counsel for Aeronautics (ACARE) and is involved in many EU projects.

The role of NLR in McArm is focussed on supporting the McArm engineering team with the application of composite materials and processes in the concept development, detailed design and prototype manufacturing phase.



Eurocarbon is a major producer of braided and woven fabrics for the composite and insulation industry. We process fibres like: Carbon fibre, Glass fibre, Aramid fibre, PBO fibre, Dyneema fibre, Polyester fibre (and other polymers), Fusible yarns, etc. With this scala of fibres a wide range of combinations can be made to produce:

  • Tubular braids
  • Flatbraids
  • Woven tapes
  • Woven fabric
  • Overbraided preforms

Besides the 'standard' products we produce tailor made products according to individual specifications and needs. One of the special products we offer is producing your structural preforms by our develloped Overbraiding technique (since 1994). Eurocarbon also provides complete turnkey overbraiding solutions if needed.

Eurocarbon has a line of materials for the orthopaedic industry. Together with NLR Eurocarbon plays an important role in the study on modern lightweight materials and the application as such in the McArm project. Through the participation in this project Eurocarbon is strengthening its position as a supplier of strong lightweight materials for the Healthcare industry



Maastricht University Medical Centre +

Maastricht University Medical Centre +