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Robotics in Healthcare Challenge: Interview with the winners of the KUKA Innovation Award 2022

Robotic ultrasound for arthritis patients: With this concept, a young team from Denmark has won the KUKA Innovation Award 2022. We talked to the winners.


Teresa Fischer
January 11, 2023
Imagine
Reading Time: 1 min.

ARTHUR, an ARTHritis ultrasound robot, is designed to assist in the examination of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The application consists of an automated ultrasound platform based on the sensitive KUKA lightweight cobot LBR Med that patients can interact with directly. This saves time for the physician during the consultation, as the ultrasound images for the diagnosis are already available. A Danish team here aims to develop a variety of robotic application platforms to help clinics increase the productivity and quality of their daily work. ARTHUR is the first product - and convinced the international jury of experts of the 20,000€ KUKA Innovation Award 2022

 

This year's "Robotics in Healthcare Challenge" was all about medicine and healthcare. The winning team, ROPCA from Denmark, was selected at the leading international medical trade fair MEDICA in Düsseldorf - we spoke to the winners directly after the awards ceremony:

Congratulations on your victory! What about your idea convinced the jury?   

Our concept is special because it is a kind of self-service station - the patient can operate the station completely independently and you don't need a specialist to hold your hand. It is an innovative and helpful product in an area where there is a great need for automation.
Team ROPCA from Denmark won the KUKA Innovation Award 2022 with ARTHUR, an ARTHritis ultrasonic robot.  

Why is it worth participating in competitions such as the KUKA Innovation Award, which is all about promoting talent in the field of new technologies? 

Participating in such an innovation competition is a good and helpful opportunity for any team. It's a way for KUKA to promote you, with professional marketing and, of course, a presence at the KUKA booth here at MEDICA, among other things. And of course it helps to have a robot for the development time - that speeds up the development process.

What advice would you give to possible future applicants for the KUKA Innovation Award?  

Keep your use case really simple and make it clear what the product can do and why you are using a robot application for it. Because everyone asks why you have to use a robot for the idea. And even if you have good arguments, it can then happen that you sometimes complicate the process too much. So keep it simple and clear - and do without things you don't need. 

The KUKA Innovation Award has been presented since 2014 to accelerate the pace of innovation in the field of robotic automation and improve technology transfer from research to industry. 

The KUKA Innovation Award - what is it actually? 

With this competition, KUKA aims to promote talent from the robotics community, accelerate the pace of innovation in automation and improve the exchange between research and industry. Every year, creative minds can submit their concepts for a task specified by KUKA. Each year, the focus is on a different technology. An international jury selects the final teams, who implement their ideas using KUKA technologies and present them at a major trade fair directly at the KUKA booth. Prize money of €20,000 awaits the winners of the Innovation Award.

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