Digital Innovation Hubs


DIH Profile

BruBotics: Brussels Human Robotics Research Center (VUB)

Hub Information

Hub Name
BruBotics: Brussels Human Robotics Research Center (VUB)
Local Name
BruBotics: robotica onderzoekscentrum VUB
Evolutionary Stage
In preparation
Geographical Scope



BruBotics is the Brussels Human Robotics Research Center of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Brussels, Belgium. Eight research groups of the university joined forces to work on a common vision: create human robotic technologies to improve the quality of life of people.

By combining expertise on robotics engineering, artificial intelligence, human physiology, sociology, ageing studies, e-health, neurological rehabilitation over 100 researchers together form one of the first truly multidisciplinary robotics research centers in Europe. With exciting international and national projects as a result: Exoskeletons for health and industry, bionic prostheses, collaborative robots, AR/VR, reinforcement learning, rehabilitation robotics, social robots, NLP,  serious games, compliant actuation, self-healing robots,...

BruBotics has an open outlook and is always open for collaborating with new or existing partners.

BruBotics is een multidisciplinair onderzoeksconsortium bestaande uit 8 onderzoeksgroepen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Met haar expertise in 'Menselijke Robotica' zoals exoskeletons, bionische prothesen, collaboratieve robots, sociale robots en veel meer,  streeft BruBotics de visie na om de levenskwaliteit en werkomstandigheden van mensen te verbeteren dankzij deze Human Robotic ​technologie. Met een ideale locatie in het hart van België en Europa en een wereldwijd erkende reputatie heeft BruBotics de ambitie om een Belgische en Europese voortrekkersrol te spelen in dit nieuw opkomend domein.

Contact Data

Coordinator (University)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Year Established
Pleinlaan 2, 1050, Brussels (Belgium)
Social Media
Contact information
Lennert Vierendeels


Organizational form
(part of) Public organization (part of RTO, or university)
Number of employees


  • Sensory systems
  • Cyber physical systems
  • Robotics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Virtual, augmented and extended reality
  • Gamification

The activities of the hub are well aligned with Belgium's national initiative for digitising industry, MADE DIFFERENT – Factories of the future.

Market and Services


  • Agriculture and food
  • Energy and utilities
  • Construction
  • Wholesale and retail
  • Tourism (incl. restaurants and hospitality)
  • Transport and logistics
  • Education
  • Life sciences & healthcare
  • Community, social and personal service activities
  • Manufacture of food products, beverages and tobacco
  • Manufacture of textiles and textile products
  • Manufacture of leather and leather products
  • Manufacture of wood and wood products
  • Manufacture of pulp, paper and paper products; publishing and printing
  • Manufacture of coke, refined petroleum products and nuclear fuel
  • Manufacture of chemicals, chemical products and man-made fibres
  • Manufacture of rubber and plastic products
  • Manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products
  • Manufacture of basic metals and fabricated metal products
  • Manufacture of machinery and equipment
  • Manufacture of electrical and optical equipment
  • Manufacture of transport equipment
  • Other Manufacturing

TRL Focus

  • TRL1 - Basic principles observed and reported
  • TRL2 - Technology concept and/or application formulated
  • TRL3 - Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept
  • TRL4 - Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment
  • TRL5 - Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment
  • TRL6 - System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment
  • TRL7 - System prototype demonstration in an operational environment

Services provided

  • Awareness creation
  • Ecosystem building, scouting, brokerage, networking
  • Collaborative Research
  • Education and skills development

Service Examples


Upper and lower body Exoskeletons for industrial or healthcare applications


Bionic (robotic) lower limb prostheses

Social Robots

Social robots for use in therapy, elderly care, retail and healthcare

Collaborative Robots

Collaborative robots for industry


Augmented and Virtual reality for healthcare and manufacturing.

Artificial Intelligence

Focus on (multi-agent) reinforcement learning, language and recommender systems

Compliant actuators

Fundamental and applied research on compliant actuation for improved physical human robot interaction and for higher efficiency.

Self-Healing robots

Fundamental research on use of self-healing materials in robotics


  • Horizon 2020
  • Regional funding
  • Partner resources

H2020 Projects

  • ACTPHAST 4.0
    ACceleraTing PHotonics innovAtion for SME’s: a one STop-shop-incubator

    ACceleraTing PHotonics innovAtion for SME’s: a one STop-shop-incubator

    ACTPHAST 4.0 (ACceleraTing PHotonics innovAtion for SMEs: a one STop-shop-incubator) is a unique photonics innovation incubator for Europe which is perfectly aligned with the needs of SMEs in overcoming the challenges and seizing the opportunities afforded by the new digital revolution of Industry 4.0 in which photonics technologies are a key enabler. ACTPHAST 4.0 will directly support the broader and faster take-up of photonics by a critical mass of SMEs by providing action-oriented solutions on two complementary levels, driven by the business needs of the companies: (i) ready-made access to rapid prototyping services using the top photonics technologies and expert know-how of Europe’s leading photonics competence centers covering the entire integrated supply chain of photonics technology platform capabilities to make deep interventions in the SMEs’ new product development through focused short-duration co-innovation projects; combined with (ii) professional coaching on the technical, business and financial aspects of the innovation process, from concept feasibility through to a mass-manufacturable marketable product. ACTPHAST 4.0 is designed to ensure that all of Europe’s SMEs, in particular first users and early adopters across a wide range of end user industries, have open access to the incubator for timely, efficient and cost-effective photonics innovation support. As a result, ACTPHAST 4.0 expects to boost photonics innovation in Europe at a scale and with a leveraging factor never seen before, delivering a substantial increase in the revenues, venture capital and jobs across all of the supported companies. In addition, through its tight links with the EU pilot lines, as well as its collaboration with smart “first mover” regions across the EU on best practices for co-funding on SME innovation, ACTPHAST 4.0 will act as a game-changer in revitalizing European manufacturing and as one of the vital catalysts to the successful digitization of European industry.

  • PhotonHub Europe
    One-Stop-Shop Open Access to Photonics Innovation Support for a Digital Europe

    One-Stop-Shop Open Access to Photonics Innovation Support for a Digital Europe

    PhotonHub Europe will establish a single pan-EU Photonics Innovation Hub which integrates the best-in-class photonics technologies, facilities, expertise and experience of 53 partners from all over Europe, including the coordinators of EU pilot lines and local photonics hubs representing 18 regions, as a one-stop-shop solution offering a comprehensive range of supports to industry for the accelerated uptake and deployment of photonics. PhotonHub will provide European companies, in particular “non-photonics” SMEs and mid-caps that are first users and early adopters of photonics, with open access and guided orienteering to the following key support services: training and upskilling opportunities within PhotonHub’s Demo and Experience Centres throughout Europe and enhanced by digital tools for online learning; “test before invest” innovation support capabilities to engage with companies on highly collaborative Innovation Projects aimed at TRL acceleration from prototyping (TRL3-4) to upscaling (TRL5-6) to manufacturing (TRL7-8), and complemented by targeted business and IP advisory supports; and support to find investment through investment-readiness coaching and investor match-making organised in collaboration with major regional and European venture fora and deep tech Investor Days. PhotonHub will uniquely support cross-border innovation activities of European companies, while simultaneously working closely with the local photonics hubs to develop and roll out best practices of the “lighthouse” regions for ongoing regional financial support of SME innovation activities and to support the creation of new innovation hubs covering most regions of Europe. Finally, PhotonHub will fine-tune and implement its business plan for long-term sustainability in the form of the PhotonHub Europe Association as a durable entity which is deeply rooted within the wider ecosystem of local, regional and EU-DIHs for maximum leverage and impact on European competitiveness and sovereignty.

Last updated: 13/09/18 06:00