Transfer Assistive Co-bot (TAC)

Tan Tock Seng Hospital
FocusAssisted Ability, Assistive Robots, Novel Robotic Systems
Clinical PI
​Dr Karen CHUA Sui Geok
Senior Consultant, Rehabilitation Medicine
Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Technical PIProf ANG Wei Tech
Executive Director, Rehabilitation Research Institute of Singapore
Associate Professor
School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and LKC School of Medicine
Nanyang Technological University


The challenge

Transferring a mobility-challenged patient from one place to another, for example from their bed to a chair, comes with some risk for both the patient and the caregiver.

Various types of assistive devices have been developed to help transfer patients such as transfer boards, mechanical hoists and even powered patient lift devices.

However, these are either not easily transportable and are designed only for use in the home or a clinical setting. In addition, many living spaces are too cramped to accommodate a wheelchair, lifting device and assistant at the same time. This places additional constraints on the transferring process and affects the safety of the transfer for both the patient and the carer.


The proposed solution

The objective of our Transfer Assistant Co-bot (TAC) is to develop an assistive robotic system to allow a single caregiver to transfer an immobile patient effectively and safely in any environment.

The system comprises a powered wheelchair equipped with a robotic arm. During a transfer between the wheelchair and another location, the caregiver works collaboratively with the robotic arm, which supports 70% of the patient’s body weight via a harness. The collaborative powered wheelchair can be used in both home and community settings and is designed to allow agile manoeuvre with just a light touch by the caregiver.

The performance and usability of the system will be validated with human subject trials.