About us

Experts in compliant actuation

SMARCOS teams up experts from the Robotics and Multibody Mechanics group at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The exoskeletons, rehabilitation devices and prosthesis are the core research directions of the group developing lightweight and powerful actuation systems since 1990. We have been working on compliant actuators for years and optimized the technologies through several European and Flemish projects. Next to the engineers we have support of the large and truly multidisciplinary BruBotics team, created around human-centered robotics at VUB.

Our story by projects

Hard work and passion make SMARCOS possible


Methodology to bring Intelligent Robotic Assistive Devices to the user

The main project goal is to generate generic scientific and technological knowledge that is applicable to the wider area of robotic devices that dynamically interact with humans, such as orthoses, prostheses, rehabilitation or training equipment, and teleoperation and assistive devices for industry. Within MIRAD project several assistive exoskeletons prototypes have been built using the concept of modular actuator units integrated with off the shelf orthoses. 


Smart Wearable Robots with Bioinspired Sensory-Motor Skills

BIOMOT project improves existing wearable robotic exoskeletons for better mobility assistance. This project has helped to advance wearable robotics by demonstrating that personalized computational models of the human body can effectively be used to control wearable exoskeletons. This new technology promises to be of great impact for the next generation of mobility therapies. BIOMOT has defined the starting point in the mechanical design of the SMARCOS actuators


Cognitive Control Framework for Robotic Systems

The focus of the CORBYS project is on robotic systems that have symbiotic relationship with humans. It provides a flexible and extensible architecture to benefit a wide range of applications; ranging from robotized vehicles and autonomous systems such as robots performing object manipulation tasks in an unstructured environment to systems where robots work in synergy with humans. CORBYS architecture was validated within two challenging demonstrators: a novel mobile robot-assisted gait rehabilitation system CORBYS; and an existing autonomous robotic system. CORBYS project gave us the opportunity to develop the EtherCAT enabled real time network architecture hardware and software that today can be used for SMARCOS actuators.


Automated Locomotion Training using an Actuated Compliant Robotic Orthosis

ALTACRO is a multidisciplinary research project that aims at the development of a step rehabilitation robot powered by compliant actuators. The ALTACRO project is a contribution to the synergy between robotics and rehabilitation. Our primary goals are to improve the quality of step rehabilitation therapy both for patients and therapists and increasing the availability of automated step rehabilitation training. ALTACRO is a complex robot with12 actuated Degrees of freedom. It was the first step rehabilitation project where the need for modularity and integration was outlined.

SMARCOS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

Grant agreement ID: 801346

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