Impact program

Brabant Robot Challenge

Robotics should not be left to the techies: it is crucial to bring together various disciplines to make sure that this technical revolution works for the benefit of all those involved. This idea gave rise to the Brabant Robot Challenge. Bringing businesses, care institutions, and students from various Brabant educational institutions together has resulted in fruitful collaboration.

Kick Off

This year, the Brabant Robot Challenge starts on March 9th, with a Kick Off session at Tilburg University. At this session, participating organizations present their case studies to the student teams enrolled in the challenge. However, a robotic society requires not only technical and medical knowledge, but also the use of socio-scientific, economic, legal, and ethical insights. To provide these insights, two scientists from the Tilburg University discuss some interesting and urgent issues related to robotization in healthcare:

  • Prof. dr. Ton Wilthagen will give a lecture about “Robots and Employment”; how robotization is shaping our concept of work and employment, and how this will continue to influence our society in the nearby future.
  • Lisa Rombout will tell us all about “Hacking Intimacy”; and how important intimacy is in robot-human interaction.

Admission for the Kick off session is free , but registration is required.

Note: you do not have to be enrolled for the entire Brabant Robot Challenge to attend the Kick off session (or any other public lecture in the BRC program).

This event may count for students Tilburg University towards the Studium Generale Certificate

The Challenge

The Brabant Robot Challenge is dedicated to robotization in the healthcare sector. Companies and institutions will pitch case studies to partaking students, who will work on these issues in multidisciplinary teams over the course of ten weeks in several sessions at different locations. Businesses, institutions, and higher education students in Brabant – Tilburg University, Eindhoven University of Technology, and Fontys and Avans Universities of Applied Sciences – are invited to participate. During the closing session on the April 20 in Eindhoven, the students will present their solutions, and the ultimate winners of the challenge will receive a prize of €1,000. If you are a student interested in participating in the Brabant Robot Challenge, you can apply before 31 January 2020!

Interesting assignments on robotics in health care

The assignments for this edition are about robotics in health care and were formulated by BlueJay/Veiligheidsregio Brabant-Zuidoost, BrabantZorg, Vivent, Farent, the Maxima Medical Center, and Tilburg University, among other organizations. “How can flowerpot robot Tessa be used as effectively as possible in the care of people with Korsakoff [KSdK1] syndrome?” or “How can the quality of communication in operation theaters be improved if robot-assisted surgery is used?” “How can we ensure fire safety in homes for the elderly by means of drones?” or “How can we build the most reliable social robot?” are examples of assignments that students can work on in the period of March 9 to June 11.

The Brabant Robot Challenge

In the smart manufacturing region of Brabant, the effects of robotization will probably occur sooner and on a larger scale than in the rest of the Netherlands, due to the far-reaching interactin of the business community with industry and health care, technical education, and local authorities. Noord-Brabant can thus address issues proactively to prevent negative impacts. The Brabant higher education institutions think they have a role to play, together with their students, in preparing for the Brabant of the future. With the Robot Challenge, they have offered inspiring lectures and practical assignments to students from all disciplines since 2016. A society with robots requires not only technical and medical knowledge, but also socio-scientific, economic, legal, and ethical insights.

More information and registration
Annemarie Schrauwen, Brabant Robot Challenge project manager,, 06 - 55 73 07 37

  • Robbert Coenmans

    Robbert Coenmans

    PhD candidate and Project Manager Brabant Robot Challenge

    "Seeds have been planted for a fruitful collaboration on robotics in healthcare"

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As part of the Brabant Robot Challenge, the four institutions for higher education offer students a unique program on various aspects of robotization. Technical and medical knowledge is not enough in the robot society: equally important are social, economic, legal, and ethical insights. For instance, why are care robots welcome at some healthcare units but not at others?

  • Students attend seven meetings in which top lectures from the participating institutions highlight various aspects of robotics.
  • Businesses and institutions present practical cases to be solved by the students in multi-disciplinary groups.
  • In a final event, students pitch their solutions and the best solutions are awarded prizes.
  • The participating institutions benefit from the knowledge obtained.
  • Eleftherios Chelioudakis

    Eleftherios Cheliodakis

    Master Student Law and Technology

    "By creating something, you get real answers to real problems"

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  • Around 60 motivated students worked on practical robotics;
  • Students delivered valuable input for cases of health technology companies, the Province of Brabant and ten care institutions;
  • A network has been created of educational and care institutions as well as businesses around robotics.
  • Ineke van Kruining

    Ineke van Kruining

    Lecturer and researcher HRM at Avans

    "The students were part of something bigger than themselves"

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  • Tilburg University
  • Avans
  • Fontys
  • Eindhoven University of Technology


  • Brabant Kennis
  • Beagle Innovation Program of the Province of Brabant