Meet SARA, the almost-autonomous nursing robot

A Dutch startup BrightCape has developed a robot called SARA. SARA’s purpose is to support the nursing staff in taking care of the elderly. SARA can, for example, help the elderly doing their exercises, tell them stories or warn the nurses if something goes wrong.

To read as well: Innovation project becomes start-up: Robot Sara reduces the workload of healthcare employees

While robots are not a new phenomenon in healthcare, SARA is to a large extent autonomous. With SARA Home, the nursing staff can add profiles of individual inhabitants of nursing homes. Currently, SARA is tested as a pilot in two Dutch nursing homes for the elderly. With the feedback they receive from both the nurses and clients SARA gets improved over time. As of right now, the main focus in on helping the elderly. But the aim is to make the robot also available for hospitals.

Dutch Design Week’s Hidden Gem # 7: Studio Nienke Hoogvliet

This year Nienke Hoogvliet will be at the Dutch Design Week in the Schellensfabriek for the seventh time. Her exhibition called H.E.R.B.S – Healthier Environment Remedy for Body and Skin – focuses on the beneficial effects of clothing fabrics on human health.

Nienke opened her own design studio six years ago. With her company, she wants to show what the opportunities are when it comes to new sustainable materials such as textiles. “I work on projects that allow people to look at situations in other ways than they are currently doing.”

Nienke has been idealistic from a very young age. At the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam she learned how to use stories to convey an idealistic message in a creative way and to make people aware of things. She wanted to symbolize the contamination of the sea with her graduation project SEAME. Which is a dress made out of threads of seaweed found in a discarded fishing net. The fishing net symbolizes the pollution, while the seaweed threads represent the sustainable potential that the sea has to offer. SEAME is currently on display at the Cube design museum in Kerkrade in the Netherlands.

©Studio Nienke Hoogvliet

Nienke also wants to promote a social message at this year’s Dutch Design Week. “Chemicals are needed for almost every step of the textile manufacturing process. So, I was wondering if they had actually vanished by the time you buy them in the shop,” Nienke explains. She examined whether there are substances that clothing might release that are also beneficial for our health. She then studied herbs such as chamomile, sage and rosemary. She used these herbs to dye samples that were subsequently tested in a laboratory in Belgium. The research showed that essential oils can be transferred from the dye to the textile. Incorporating beneficial herbs in clothing is something that certain cultures have already done in the past. Traditionally, spices such as indigo, turmeric and rose madder have been used in clothing in Asia. “Indigo was used by the Samurai as an undergarment so that their wounds would heal faster. Indigo has an antibacterial effect.”

As a designer, Nienke is quick to look at materials that are suitable for reuse. She has been working with Dutch Water Boards since 2016. For instance, she has collaborated on a project to recycle toilet paper that can be reclaimed from wastewater. Aside from that, she has also designed urns using bio-plastic made from wastewater. “As a designer, you make things. Yet I don’t want to add anything to the world if there is already a surplus.”

Location: Schellensfabriek, Bleekweg 1M

The Dutch Design Week is the largest design festival in Northern Europe. Each year, we pick out ten designers from a huge selection that we consider to be this year’s Hidden Gems. You can read all about their stories there.

This series was created in collaboration with Dutch Design Daily and curator Katja Lucas from DDW. Would you like to visit the DDW hidden gems yourself? Every day, Brandstore Eindhoven/VVV is organizing a bicycle tour along the selected designers. More info can be found here.

 

Dutch Design Week’s hidden gem # 6: Glim – innovation through renovation

This year, Gijs Kuijpers and Jordie Rovers will be at the Dutch Design Week for the third time with their own exhibition: GLIM. Earlier this year, Kuijpers and his design agency Studio Eigengijs were present at the Salone del Mobile, Milan’s design week.

Kuijpers was 14 when he learned the craft of carpentry from a furniture maker in Milheeze in North Brabant, in the Netherlands. He knew from an early age that he wanted to do something with interior design. When he was 19, he started an interior design course in Belgium. He had the opportunity to do a postgraduate year at that time which he used to  build up his portfolio. With that, he laid the foundation for his dream: his own furniture design company.

During the Dutch Design Week, he and artist Jordie Rovers will hold an exhibition together at the Plan B industrial estate in Eindhoven. This year’s exhibition is centered around ‘ breathing in new life.’ He has renovated parts of furniture he got from second-hand stores and landfill sites. Sections of the furniture have been replaced by shiny replacements, made from aluminium, for example. “People don’t see how much work was put into these when they were first made,” the designer says. By giving the furniture new textures and by replacing parts, they want to do away with the image of ‘old, brown furniture’ and show the true value of craftsmanship. Once in a while he is told that people wouldn’t want to buy his work. But he doesn’t mind. In his view, his work is not for everyone.

Apart from the furniture, Jordie Rovers’ creations will also be on display. He applies the same GLIM theme in his own discipline as a graphic artist. He has researched archaeological artifacts and wants to breathe new life into them. Rovers treats zinc plates by sandblasting them and then creates a print from them. These complement the pieces that his colleague is exhibiting. This is how both disciplines are brought together in the exhibition. “I looked at how I could utilize that innovative aspect, and that fitted in nicely with the way in which Gijs works.”

The collaboration between Kuijpers and Rovers came about after they had both worked on the design of a cabinet. In the wake of that project, Kuijpers had the idea of organizing an exhibition focusing on ‘breathing life into old objects’. Rovers and Kuijpers also both work with shiny components. And both are exploring what appeals to the human brain and how you can give older objects renewed value.

The GLIM exhibition can be seen at the Dutch Design Week from the 19th to the 27th of October.

Location: Plan B, Eindhoven

The Dutch Design Week is the largest design festival in Northern Europe. Each year, we pick out ten designers from a huge selection that we consider to be this year’s Hidden Gems. You can read all about their stories there.

This series was created in collaboration with Dutch Design Daily and curator Katja Lucas from DDW. Would you like to visit the DDW hidden gems yourself? Every day, Brandstore Eindhoven/VVV is organizing a bicycle tour along the selected designers. More info can be found here.

Drinks, Pitches & Demos: what’s it all about?

Started on the High Tech Campus and from there fanned out to places like TU/e Innovation Space and the Eindhoven Microlab, it has become a well-known phenomenon: Drinks, Pitches & Demos. Every first Wednesday of the month there is room for starting high-tech entrepreneurs who have a specific question for the Eindhoven innovation community. Organiser Karina Garcia del Real explains where the success comes from: