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Håkan Eftring, PhD in Engineering

Håkan Eftring

Tel: +46 46 222 40 96
E-mail: hakan.eftring@certec.lth.se
Fax: +46 46 222 44 31
Address: Certec, LTH, P.O. Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
Position: Administrative Head of Certec, Assistant Professor
Area of interest: Useworthiness of robots for people with physical disabilities, IT and learning, design for dynamic diversity
Curriculum Vitæ

In Swedish

I am the administrative head of Certec. My areas of research include humans, technology, learning and disabilities. 

I defended my doctoral thesis – The Useworthiness of Robots for People with Physical Disabilities – on September 22, 1999. Dr William S. Harwin was my opponent and Prof. Bodil Jönsson was my advisor. The proceedings were broadcasted live and a week later I answered questions about my thesis on our WebBoard conferencing system. 

Since 1996 I have worked with web-based learning, when Certec started offering courses over the Internet. I became a member of the Faculty of Engineering LTH's Educational Academy in 2002 and was presented the Excellent Teaching Practice Awarded (ETP).

Universal design and web page accessibility for people with disabilities is another area of great interest. 

Research interests and projects                                                                                                                                                               

My preconceived notions                                                                                                                                                             

Research Interests and Projects

What makes rehabilitation engineering so exciting is the connection between people, technology and education. Ever more sophisticated technology is becoming a part of the lives of ordinary people. The focus of rehabilitation engineering is on the use of technology and on the users, especially users with disabilities.

New technology not only creates new possibilities, it also highlights human needs and forces us to think new thoughts – regardless of whether we are satisfied or dissatisfied with the technology. In many cases, assistive devices can contribute to the empowerment of people with disabilities. I am interested in finding out what makes a device useworthy, i.e., worth using.

Robots for People with Physical Disabilities

The objective of the EU projects RAID and EPI-RAID was to develop and test a robotic workstation for people with physical disabilities. My task was to design the end-effector of the robot to enable it to handle books, papers, and diskettes.

National Rehabilitation Robotics Center
In collaboration with the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Lund University Hospital, I have been working on the creation of a National Rehabilitation Robotics Center. At the center, the RAID workstation and the wheelchair-mounted Manus manipulator (in Swedish) are employed in the rehabilitation of people with high level spinal cord injuries. The aim is to motivate the patients to take part in rehabilitation activities by increasing the number of meaningful activities that they can carry out and by demonstrating that robotic devices can lead to greater independence.

The following are some links to projects in the Division of Machine Design at Lund University (among others, the project Asimov – a manipulator mounted on a wheelchair). "Rehabilitation Robotics Jumpstation" is an excellent starting point for those who wish to find information about rehabilitation robotics worldwide. A great deal of research in Rehabilitation Robotics is carried out at the Applied Science and Engineering Laboratories (ASEL) at the University of Delaware, Maryland, USA.

IT and Learning

The DUKOM project  (Distance Education Committee) (in Swedish) was an opportunity for Certec to further develop the accessibility of Internet-based education, i.e., to make education more available to people with disabilities. The project enabled me to develop my interests in IT-based education, accessibility and the creation of a university for all – including students with disabilities.

I contributed to the development of the distance education tool LUVIT (Lund University Virtual Interactive Tool) (in Swedish) which simplifies the production of  distance courses for teachers who are unfamiliar with Internet technology.

You will find more information about distance education at Certec at these links: Reflections on Certec's Internet Courses (in Swedish) and  Inside the Internet.

Last modified: 2010-11-19