LBR Med - Features
As a precise and reliable assistant in the medical environment, the KUKA lightweight robot LBR Med supports doctors and therapists. At the same time, it is the first fully-fledged robot to be certified according to the CB Scheme procedure as a robotic component of a medical device. The LBR Med thus enjoys a unique selling proposition in medical robotics. At Medica 2019, KUKA will be presenting the versatile application areas of the sensitive robot in five sample applications. For this purpose, a demo cell was designed in which these can be displayed with just one LBR Med. The operator can select which demo to show on a screen. A tool change stand provides the various medical devices for each demo.
An ultrasonic transducer attached to the flange of the LBR Med is guided over the body to be examined. The path required for the examination is set manually by the operator by moving the robot with the ultrasonic probe along the points to be examined. The robot records the path internally and can then repeat the learned path independently and with constant pressure.
The trocar application illustrates how the robot can fix a specific entry point manually defined by the operator for minimally invasive surgery. The robot memorizes the entry point and allows the operator to manually move the robot around this point without exerting any force on the entry point, the so-called trocar point. This helps to minimize the patient injuries during surgery.
Spinal column application:
The spinal column application demonstrates that the robot can be used like an intelligent, precisely positioned holding arm. It can be controlled, moved and fixed with any medical device, e.g. a guide for a drill or catheter. In addition, the operator can manually guide the robot along the spine. Any desired point can be fixed and memorized. The robot could also be connected to a therapy planning system and commanded by it. Before the surgery, the target positions are determined using the patient images, e.g. from MRT or X-ray examinations and those positions are communicated to the LBR Med.
The robot is kinematically overdesigned with its seven serially arranged axes. The elbow application demonstrates the possible zero space movement. The robot keeps its tool center point constant on the path or at a fixed position in space, while the elbow of the robot can be moved. The sensitivity of the robot is also demonstrated, because the user can manipulate the elbow of the robot manually, while the robot itself carries out its task unperturbed.
2D path application:
In order to demonstrate that the LBR Med can also perform pure robot tasks, a 2D path application is presented. It precisely follows rigid movements. A path printed on the table of the demo application is traversed continuously and alternately – once going directly from point to point and once using a calculated rounded path between points. This makes it clear to the viewer that a therapy planning system can also calculate complex therapy paths and send them to the robot for execution.
If the demo is changed, a tool change may be necessary. To do this, the robot moves to the tool change stand, where the user can remove the current tool from the flange and replace it with the new one. An ingenious currentless mechanism is used, which firmly holds the tool magnetically to the flange and releases it very easily by manually moving a lever. Shifting the lever causes the magnetic field either to flow through a metal plate in the tool, fixing the tool to the flange, or to short-circuit the magnetic field inside the flange and release the tool. This technique has already impressed customers because it allows the field strength of the integrated permanent magnet to be used to set a desired breakaway or shear force, making it easier to solve the MRK questions of risk analysis in one application or another.