Manufacturing2008 conference

The Scientific Society of Mechanical Engineering (GTE, Hungary) organizes every year an international conference on industrial automation, the Manufacturing. This year there were some surgical robotics related presentations as well.
First, I gave a presentation on the most successful surgical applications based on industrial manipulators. This includes the first ever robotic surgery in 1985, a brain biopsy procedure (manipulating biopsy cannulae with a Unimate PUMA 220 robot). Beyond, in 1991, the first transurethral electro-resection of the prostate was performed with a PUMA 560 at Imperial College, London, UK.
In orthopedics, one of the earliest surgical robots—the ROBODOC Surgical Assistant System—was developed at IBM Yorktown Heights Research Center. A 5 degree of freedom (DOF) IBM SCARA robot (manufactured by Sankyo Seiki) was custom designed for hip replacement procedures and knee prosthetics. Integrated Surgical Systems Inc. (Sacramento, CA) sold more than 50 systems across Europe and Asia, and most recently it became the first Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved automated bone milling robot.
One of the most successful applications is the CyberKnife (Accuray Inc.) radiation therapy robot (figure 2). The system integrates image guidance and robotic positioning. A 6 MeV LINAC (relatively light-weight linear accelerator) X-ray source is directly mounted on a KUKA 6 DOF industrial manipulator (KUKA Roboter GmbH). Its primary use is irradiation of brain and spine tumors. SIEMENS has lately introduced its Artis zeego multi-axis system family that uses industrial manipulators to arbitrarily move a C-arm around the patient, in order to acquire high quality 2D and 3D reconstruction images.
The once commercially available Computer Assisted Surgical Planning and Robotics system (CASPAR from orto Maquet GmbH) used a retrofitted Staubli RX 90 robot for autonomous implantation of knee prostheses. The company got defunct for financial reasons. The modified version of the CASPAR is currently used in the Robot-based Navigation for Milling at the Lateral Skull Base (RONAF) project at the Universitat Bayreuth, Germany. The system's purpose is the interactive supervision of a surgical robot during cranial drilling.
With minor modifications, the NeuroMate was created of an AID manipulator. The NeuroMate robot (Schaerer Mayfield NeuroMate Sarl) was the first neurosurgical robotic device to get CE mark in Europe, and then the FDA’s approval for stereotactic neurosurgical procedures in 1997. Originally developed at the Grenoble University Hospital, France.
Next, Christian Woegerer presented from Profactor AG, Vienna. He has been working with Prof. Gernot Kronreif for many years, and took part in the development of the B-Rob I and II CT-guided percutaneous needle insertion robot. The second generation of the medical device is based on two simple and very accurate linear stages, and a 4DOF gross positioning structure. They have developed a dedicated user interface and many safety features to make the system eligible for clinical trials. The custom developed "ROBUST" navigation software is responsible for determining the needle trajectory and monitor the robot during the intervention. They used an NDI Polaris for optical tracking.The system is getting ready for commercialization.


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