Human-robot collaboration (HRC) in medical applications


JUNE 17, 2016

KUKACARS 2016The “Haptic Ultrasound” application is the centerpiece of the KUKA booth at the Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery (CARS) research congress. Every year it brings renowned physicians and engineers together to discuss new trends and developments in the field of medical technology

The expert conference, with its accompanying exhibit, is being held from 21 to 25 June 2016 in Heidelberg. KUKA is presenting the “Haptic Ultrasound” application on site. The lightweight robot LBR also demonstrates the possibilities of human-robot collaboration (HRC) in medical applications.

The LBR has integrated, sensitive joint torque sensors in all seven axes. These endow the lightweight robot with contact detection capabilities and programmable compliance. As the first series-produced sensitive robot, it is suitable for human-robot collaboration and is opening up new areas that were previously closed to automation. “We want to show all that is possible with our robot technologies,” explains Axel Weber, Business Development Manager at KUKA Roboter GmbH.

KUKA shows robot-based ultrasound application

“Haptic Ultrasound” is a robot-based ultrasound application for demonstration purposes. The robot arm of the LBR is equipped with an ultrasound sensor and executes exactly those motions specified by the user in a haptic input system. A special phantom can also be used as a model. The sensor then generates images in real time, which are delivered to the monitors through USB interfaces. The separation of controller and robot allows the patient and doctor to be in different places and enables reliable remote diagnosis during ultrasound examinations.