Fukuoka/Japan, 25 June 2014 – KUKA Laboratories GmbH is showcasing the lightweight robot LBR Med for medical environments at CARS (Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery) from 25 to 28 June 2014 in Fukuoka, Japan. “Hands-on” is the motto for the KUKA booth at the international conference for medical experts in the fields of radiology and surgery. In an application demonstrating human-robot collaboration, visitors have the chance to interact directly with the LBR Med and try their hand at a surgical operation.
The LBR as a “medical assistant”
KUKA is featuring the LBR at CARS as a “medical assistant”. As such, it could work in direct collaboration with a surgeon, assisting in the replacement of knee joints – a procedure which is performed across the globe approximately two million times each year. In this process, a piece of both the femur and tibia is removed using a surgical saw so that the artificial joint can be fitted. The LBR Med can assist the surgeon in this procedure, with the surgeon guiding the robot and simultaneously making use of its accuracy. The entire procedure is monitored by a special camera and displayed on a screen in 3D. With the aid of optical markings on both the bone and the LBR Med, the camera can recognize the positions of the bone and the robot with minute accuracy. Funnel-shaped virtual walls which move with the bone limit the surgeon’s workspace. In this way, the surgeon is led precisely to the sawing point without relinquishing control over this part of the operation, making an accurate cut while avoiding the possibility of “slipping”. The benefit for the patient is improved accuracy in the placement of the implant.
An ideal platform
For 25 years, CARS has been the meeting place for an international community of scientists, engineers and health professionals to share information on computer-assisted radiology and surgery. The congress is thus the ideal platform for KUKA Laboratories GmbH to present its technological trends – such as the KUKA lightweight robot – to a broad specialist audience. Based on the human arm, the robot is extremely flexible, sensitive and user-friendly. These characteristics also make the LBR Med suitable for rehabilitation in addition to surgical scenarios. For example, it can be used as a training assistant in physiotherapy.
About KUKA Laboratories GmbH
KUKA Laboratories GmbH, based in Augsburg, is a globally active subsidiary of the KUKA Group. The core competences of the company are the development and sale of service and medical robotics products. KUKA is already one of Europe’s leading providers of professional service robotics and robotics for the key players of medical device manufacturers. KUKA is a supplier of robotic components for medical products. KUKA Laboratories is engaged in research and development cooperation with renowned customers, institutes and universities around the world. The subsidiary develops basic technologies for the KUKA Group as a whole.