The FOM (Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter) promotes fundamental research in the field of physics. The foundation annually invests funds that originate from multiple institutions like the European Union, the Dutch government, and from the business world. The research performed is beneficial for the scientific and business world, which is why partnership exists between these parties.
The mission of the FOM is to improve knowledge between different institutions, create a national network, and participate in international projects. With an annual budget of around 100 million Euros, the FOM is involved in two robotics projects: IMDI, and the project to develop Remote Handling for the ITER nuclear reactor.
IMDI (Innovative Medical Devices Initiative) aims at improving the Dutch infrastructure with regard to medical services. The project focuses on the development of robotic instruments that can help in medical situations. For example, the investment in robot support arms in the field of rehabilitation is showing positive results.
Remote Handling for the ITER reactor is necessary, because the task to maintain the reactor is far too dangerous for humans to execute. This is why the development of an interactive simulation environment will prove helpful in designing and producing a robotic maintenance system.