KUKA Innovation Award 2019

The winners of the KUKA Innovation Award 2019 have been selected: Team RoboFORCE convinced the jury with their concept for robot-assisted magnetic endoscopy for pain-free colorectal cancer screening. 

Team RoboFORCE wins the KUKA Innovation Award 2019

At the Innovation Award 2019 about 30 research teams from all over the world applied with their concepts on the topic of "Healthy Living". The applicants were asked to develop an innovative concept using KUKA hardware for use in hospitals and rehabilitation centers. The RoboFORCE team won the award and thus the €20,000 prize money.

 

Team RoboFORCE at the award ceremony.

Innovation Award 2019 at MEDICA 2019

The winners: Team RoboFORCE

A robotic magnetic flexible endoscope for painless colorectal cancer screening, surveillance and intervention

Colonoscopy is widely used to detect early stage colorectal cancer. The procedure offers great advantages, but also has disadvantages such as the risk of perforation, pain and high costs. The winning team RoboFORCE with researchers from the Universities of Leeds, Vanderbilt and Turin is developing an alternative robotic platform with a magnetic capsule that navigates through the intestine on a LBR Med thanks to magnetic coupling with an external magnet. To increase safety and performance, the team uses the Roboception vision system and creates an external 3D map of the patient.

 

Team RoboFORCE (England)

It was an exciting competition with excellent projects. In the end, the jury decided in favour of this concept because it offers patients great advantages and can even save lives. We see great potential in this innovative idea.

Dr. Rainer Bischoff, Vice President Corporate Research, KUKA

Team LaserNAVI

Collaborative robot for patient-specific laser treatment of vascular lesions

Chronic venous disorders are typically treated using laser-based therapies. Usually, the laser is guided with the naked eye – which is challenging and requires a great deal of experience.
The Portuguese team from the 2AI Applied Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave is developing a robot-supported laser treatment for leg veins with the LBR Med based on automatic detection of unhealthy veins. Through cooperation of the doctor and robot, the treatment results are expected to improve significantly.

Team LaserNAVI (Portugal)

Team iYU Pro

Interactive robot for personalized massages

Back pain is a widespread health problem. The goal of the project from the developers at Capsix Robotics in Lyon is to perform an automatic and customized back massage using the KUKA LBR Med.
The treatments are defined based on a generic body model and adapted to the patient using sensors. Besides massages, this technology makes various autonomous and customized body and skin treatments possible.

Team iYU Pro (France)

Team iRONNA

Interactive robotized aided neurosurgery

A fundamental challenge in neurosurgical robotics is the development of autonomous and intelligent robots that can be used as sophisticated surgical instruments. They can make operating procedures shorter and safer. To achieve this, researchers at the University of Zagreb are developing an interactive robotic system to support neurosurgeons during the preoperative phase. For the pre-op procedure, the team is working on an interactive, gesture-based operation planning interface as well as on haptic and visual control methods for the actual operation.

Team iRONNA (Croatia)

Team RobUST

Robotic ultrasound spine treatment

The Technical University of Munich team’s application focuses on robot-assisted treatment of micro-fractures in the spine. Here, the LBR Med provides support during insertion of the needle into the spine. The surgeon also receives information about the procedure via augmented reality glasses. The goal of the project is to make the current clinical procedure more precise, easier to carry out and more efficient.

 

Team RobUST (Germany)

KUKA Innovation Award 2019: The challenge

At the Innovation Award 2019 about 30 research teams from all over the world applied with their concepts on the topic of "Healthy Living". In order to turn their ideas into reality, KUKA provided the selected finalists with a KUKA lightweight robot and a 3D vision sensor from Roboception free of charge. This year, it was possible for the first time to use the LBR Med, the medical version of the sensitive lightweight robot, for the final. The LBR Med is the first robotic component certified worldwide for integration into medical products. In addition, the finalists received free hardware training and coaching from KUKA experts throughout the competition. The final of the Innovation Award took place at MEDICA 2019, the largest medical trade fair. Here, the finalists had the unique opportunity to present their work to the public, the specialist public, the media and, of course, the jury.

 

About the KUKA Innovation Award

As the world's leading company in robot-based automation, KUKA has for many years cultivated intensive cooperation with scientists and R&D partners around the world on various scientific and technical topics. To strengthen this cooperation, the KUKA Innovation Award 2014 was launched.
The aim of the competition is to accelerate the overall pace of innovation in robot-based automation and to strengthen the transfer of technology from research to industry. It is aimed at developers, graduates and research teams from companies or universities.

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