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MEDICA 2022: Towards more precision and gentler therapies with robotic-assisted medical technology

Robotic-based assistance in medicine and everyday hospital life relieves doctors as well as nursing staff and improves patient care. At the MEDICA 2022, KUKA is presenting applications which show what is currently possible in the field of hair transplants, massages and in the biopsy of brain tumors. Furthermore, the new software generation KUKA Sunrise.OS Med 2.6 will be presented. The Augsburg-based company is pleased to welcome the finalists of the "KUKA Innovation Award", which will be presented as part of this year’s MEDICA.

27 October 2022

At the world's largest medical technology trade fair MEDICA will take place from November 14 to 17 in Düsseldorf, KUKA will present applications which reduce expenses of medical staff and help to improve patient care. In hall 10 at booth A22, medical applications based on the seven-axis lightweight robot LBR Med can be discovered. It has been certified as the world's first robot-based component for integration into medical devices.

Sensitive treatment with the LBR Med

The lightweight robot LBR Med was developed specifically for applications in medical technology and can be easily integrated into clinical assistance systems. Due to its sensitive sensor technology, comprehensive safety packages, hygiene-optimized surface and certification, medical device manufacturers choose the LBR Med as a basis for their products. Among others, trade show visitors can explore a demo cell how the LBR Med assists in the biopsy of a brain tumor. The biopsy is simulated on a model with real-time tracking based on cameras from the company NDI for showcase purpose. The user can place the biopsy needle with the help of the LBR Med, which is mounted on a cart from MPE.
With the help of cameras from NDI and the LBR Med, which is mounted on a cart from MPE, the biopsy needle can be set.
The target and entry positions are planned in advance based on computed tomography data and displayed on an interactive screen. If the positioning of the model changes, the LBR Med follows the predetermined position thanks to dynamic tracking. The robotic-based application makes the procedure more precise. KUKA is not intending to develop a medical product.

Hair transplantation the gentle, safe way

The ARTAS iX™ hair transplantation robot from the company Venus Concept is one of the highlights at MEDICA. Minimally invasive, thousands of individual hair follicles are extracted from the back of the head and implanted in bald spots in the front scalp. This procedure requires high accuracy and consistent quality. The integrated LBR Med makes the procedure safer and more accurate. The planning of the implantation of the hair follicles is based on algorithms and allows a result resembling natural hair growth.
The LBR Med lightweight robot was developed specifically for integration in medical technology. © Venus Concept
The KUKA Innovation Award.
The KUKA Innovation Award will be presented at this year's MEDICA.

Priceworthy robotics applications

This year, the "KUKA Innovation Award 2022" revolves around the topic of medicine and health. The "Robotics in Healthcare" Challenge is looking for new concepts for efficient and innovative treatment options. An international jury of experts has selected the five best concepts and teams, which will be presented live at MEDICA and compete for the prize of €20,000. The announcement of the winners and the presentation of the award will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 11 a.m., at our booth A22 in hall 10. The spectrum ranges from promoting maternal health and healing severe skin injuries to supporting arthritis examinations, brain surgery or rehabilitation measures.

The advantages of the new software generation KUKA Sunrise.OS Med 2.6 for the LBR Med

Trade fair visitors will also have the opportunity to get to know the new software generation for the LBR Med, the KUKA Sunrise.OS Med 2.6, through the exhibits. The object-oriented programming is based on Java 8 and Windows 10 and enables fast commissioning. The new generation offers various option packages that, for example, allow very precise hand guidance or give the LBR Med a high degree of rigidity, e.g. in orthopedic operations. Real-time communication with the robot controller is enabled by new functions in KUKA Sunrise.FRI Med.

For deep relaxation with the massage robot iYU

In addition, Capsix Robotics will present the world's first massage device based on the LBR Med platform at the KUKA booth. Before the massage, the back is measured with the help of a camera. This data is then passed on to the massage robot, which then massages each individual back with the desired pressure levels. The iYU Pro Massage Robot is operated autonomously, which means that one can book an individualized, pleasant and safe massage at a terminal.

The iYU massage robot with the integrated LBR Med. © Capsix Robotics

Wide range of possibilities with the LBR Med

KUKA is demonstrating possible applications with the support of the lightweight robot LBR Med using the Medical Feature Demo Cell at MEDICA. For example, an ultrasound demo in which an ultrasound probe attached to the robot flange is guided over the body. The LBR Med records the path and can then independently repeat the learned path with constant pressure. In the spine application, on the other hand, the LBR Med is either guided by hand to the location on the spine to be operated on or can automatically move to the desired position to assist the physician during treatments.

Literally a strong partner in many areas: the KR QUANTEC HC

Additionally, at MEDICA 2022 KUKA presents a model of the KR QUANTEC HC. The robot has a payload of up to 300 kg. Among other things it is suitable for carrying heavy medical equipment such as a linear accelerator used in tumor therapies or an X-ray system in angiography. The KR QUANTEC HC has numerous features, such as additional brakes and a personnel recovery system. This allows the brakes to be released manually, thus, the KR QUANTEC HC could be, for instance, moved manually in the event of a power failure.