Healthy Living

KUKA Innovation Award 2019

In recent months, 30 research teams from all over the world have submitted their concepts related to the topic "Healthy Living". The participants were asked to create an innovative robot application for healthcare institutions using KUKA hardware. Now, the five finalists of the KUKA Innovation Award 2019 have been selected.

To implement their concepts, KUKA will provide a KUKA ligthweight robot and a 3D vision system from Roboception free of charge to the selected finalists throughout the competition period.

This year, it is possible for the first time to use the KUKA LBR Med, a medical variant of the sensitive lightweight robot LBR iiwa. The LBR Med is the first robotic component worldwide to be certified for integration into medical products.

In addition, the final teams will receive free training for the hardware as well as coaching by KUKA experts.

Innovation Award teams work on their concepts with a KUKA lightweight robot.

The highlight of the competition is the final presentation at the biggest industry fair in Germany, the Hannover Messe 2019. Here, finalist will present their solutions to the public, an expert audience, the media and of course the jury, to determine the winner of 20.000 euro prize money.


Finalists of the KUKA Innovation Award 2019

Team I&Bot

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 I&Bot

Team A.I. Collaborative Robot for Laser Treatments

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 A.I. Collaborative Robot for Laser Treatments

Team RoboFORCE

The colonoscopy is a common procedure to detect bowel cancer in its early stages. This procedure offers major advantages. Nevertheless, it also has disad-vantages such as the risk of perforation, pain and high costs.

As an alternative, researchers from the universities of Leeds, Vanderbilt and Turin are developing a robot platform using a magnetic capsule which navigates through the bowels thanks to magnetic coupling with an external magnet on an LBR Med.

To enhance safety and performance, the team uses the Roboception vision system and creates an external 3D map of the patient.

Team RoboFORCE


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 RobUST

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

About the KUKA Innovation Award

As the world's leading company in robot-based automation, KUKA has been working closely with scientists and R&D partners worldwide on various scientific and technical topics for many years. To strengthen this cooperation, the KUKA Innovation Award was launched in 2014 by chairman Dr. Bernd Liepert, Chief Innovation Officer of KUKA.

The competition aims to accelerate the overall pace of innovation in the field of robot-based automation and to strengthen technology transfer from research to industry. It addresses developers, graduates and research teams of companies or universities.


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