Institute for Human Centered Engineering – Laboratory for Rehabilitation Engineering

In our Laboratory for Rehabilitation Engineering (rehaLab), we use technologies from the world of competitive sport to improve the rehabilitation process for individuals following an accident or illness. This requires us to work closely with neuro-rehabilitation clinics.

Our laboratory

We combine cutting-edge technology with methods from high-performance sport to improve the rehabilitation process. We help people achieve their full potential.

Range of services

In research and development, we work closely with well-known rehabilitation clinics all over Switzerland, such as Reha Rheinfelden (AG), a research collaboration that began in 2011. We also conduct research on spinal injuries with the Swiss Paraplegic Centre in Nottwil (LU).

Our offer: Flexible collaboration for your services or product development activities for clinics and industry.

  • Feasibility studies
  • Technological evaluations or inspections
  • Project support
  • Consultations, planning and coaching
  • Tests and expertise
  • Measurements, appraisals and analyses

Professional skills

We employ technologies and methods from competitive sport to improve the rehabilitation process for individuals following an accident or illness.

Our core competencies include:

  • Cardiopulmonary and musculoskeletal rehabilitation
  • Neurological adaptation and recovery
  • Rehabilitation robotics
  • Cycling system innovations
  • Functional electric stimulation
  • Micro and whole-body vibration
  • Treadmill automation
  • Cardiopulmonary training and test protocols
  • Control technology and signal processing

Our interdisciplinary research focuses on the neural control of movement in patients with neurological deficits due to spinal injuries, a stroke or other reasons.

By combining rehabilitation technology and cognitive performance feedback, we seek to boost the patient’s willpower and to harness the central nervous system’s lifelong capacity for plasticity, regeneration and repair.

This approach is beneficial for cardiopulmonary and musculoskeletal health and fosters a CNS (central nervous system) environment where positive neurological changes can take place. We apply multidisciplinary expertise in the fields of technology, neuroscience, sports science, kinesiology and medicine to improve the prevention and management of progressive secondary complications of spinal injuries, strokes and a wide range of other neurological conditions, as well as to assist neurological recovery in order to improve motor control, sensation and functional autonomy.


Our laboratory in Biel has outstanding research infrastructure. In addition, we use a research lab at the Reha Rheinfelden rehab centre. Robot-assisted equipment includes a treadmill (Lokomat, G-EO, Lyra) and a tilt table (Erigo). We also have state-of-the-art cardiorespiratory monitoring systems. The initial research and development activities are carried out at our laboratory in Biel.

The sports technology research group focuses on interdisciplinary research into advanced feedback systems for treadmill automation. Our work is based on multidisciplinary expertise in technology, sport and movement. We focus primarily on the area of high-end solutions, but many of our methods have been successfully deployed in rehabilitation technology.

Control technology

We have developed feedback systems that enable the training and effort intensity to be determined through the automatic regulation of heart rate, oxygen uptake or metabolic performance. A target value is selected for the controlled variable. The speed and incline of the treadmill are automatically set during exercise so that the target value is attained.

Positioning algorithms

We have also developed high-precision positioning algorithms. They allow users to select their own walking or running speed while the control system continually adjusts the treadmill speed to maintain the target position. These applications are available for walking, running and cycling on a treadmill.


Our laboratory in Biel is equipped with two high performance treadmills (Venus and Pulsar from h/p/cosmos). Various position monitoring sensors – such as ultrasound and laser sensors – and a real-time communication protocol enable the treadmill to be fully controlled by computer.

We also have state-of-the-art heart respiration monitoring systems to record breathing online.

We have excellent research facilities and our own laboratory at the Reha Rheinfelden rehabilitation clinic. Robot-assisted devices include a treadmill (Lokomat) and a Hocoma tilt table (Erigo). Our equipment also includes modern cardiorespiratory monitoring systems and a high-performance treadmill (h/p/cosmos Venus).

Therapy equipment

  • Lokomat
  • G-EO System
  • Lyra
  • Erigo
  • h/p/cosmos venus, pulsar
  • Monark LC7
  • Rehabike
  • KMX Storm
  • ICE Trice T
  • SOPUR Shark S
  • Hasomed RehaStim

Measuring devices

  • Cortex MetaMax 3B
  • Myon 320


We’re always open to enquiries about new projects and collaborations.


Rehabilitation clinic in Rheinfelden

The rehaLab works closely with well-known rehabilitation clinics all over Switzerland. In early 2011, we launched a formal research collaboration with the rehabilitation clinic in Rheinfelden near Basel. Our work focuses on patient rehabilitation following a stroke

Rehabilitation clinic in Rheinfelden


Swiss Paraplegic Centre in Nottwil

We also study individuals who have sustained spinal cord injuries with our partners at the Swiss Paraplegic Centre in Nottwil.

Swiss Paraplegic Centre in Nottwil




Contact us or meet our experts in person at various events. Collaboration produces win-win outcomes for everyone concerned – your company, society and the university.