Håkan Eftring, PhD in Engineering
Tel: +46 46 222 40 96
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
and learning, design for dynamic diversity
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
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
RAID and EPI-RAIDThe 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 CenterIn 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
LinksThe 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
DUKOM 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.
LUVITI 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.
Links 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.