Service robotics is revolutionising medicine and healthcare; high-tech is providing more quality from surgery to rehabilitation. In the creation of diagnoses, for complicated surgical procedures as well as in everyday hospital work, service robots are becoming the perfect teammates of people. AUTOMATICA takes a look at the protagonists of a new era in Munich from 21-24 June 2016.
Robots have many faces. As exoskeletons, they relieve workers as a stable outer shell when they lift and carry heavy objects. ReWalk Robotics applied this idea to quadriplegic people to enable them to walk again. As a result, the company won the first ESA BIC Start-up Award at AUTOMATICA 2014. The customised exoskeleton improves function, safety and alignment of joints. The patient can go for a walk, enter buildings without a ramp, hold conversations at eye level and is more independent. This affects his bone density and his body fat positively, improves posture and reduces pain; he is part of society again. The exoskeleton is also used in hospitals for exercises and therapy.
The precision of a service robot provides enormous benefits in surgery both for doctors and patients. CARLO (Computer Assisted, Robot-Guided Laser Osteotome) from Advanced Osteotomy Tools (AOT) AG is a pioneer in the operating room; it cuts bones contactless and carefully thanks to laser light. During this, sensors and the doctor control it continuously, which ensures safety and high-precision removal. "This means an optimal safety of the intervention and faster healing for the patient," Dr. Alfredo Bruno, CEO of AOT AG, explained.
Service robotics also enables gentle treatment in radiosurgery. For example, cyberknife technology developed at Stanford University treats tumors highly precisely to sub-millimetres using mobile robotics and digital imag-ing.
"The treatment is given to people as outpatients and is painless; the surrounding tissue receives significantly less radiation, and an operation is unnecessary. The patient can usually resume his normal agenda im-mediately after treatment," explained Professor Dr Alexander Muacevic from the European CyberKnife Center, which has already performed 6,000 such treatments successfully.
Treating a patient in radiotherapy correctly and accurately is becoming increasingly trickier, because the number of recognised and treated structures is increasingly and they are increasingly fine. With the positioning system from Buck Engineering & Consulting (BEC) GmbH, patients can be positioned flexibly, aligned precisely and irradiated accurately.
"The economic efficiency of the radiation source increases, which is a positive aspect for operators of radiotherapy centers and manufacturers of such equipment," managing director Matthias Buck explained.
Driverless transport systems are experiencing a boom. They take care of routine tasks for nurses around the clock. For those receiving care, this means more personal attention, optimal care and increased satisfaction. One example is the autonomous mobile delivery robot TUG® from Ae-thon. In hectic hospital environments, it transports goods between phar-macy, laboratories, environmental services, food distribution, laundry ser-vice and blood bank. BlueBotics SA developed the automatically con-trolled vehicle EVOcart™ for hospitals jointly with Oppent SpA. Navigation is via laser scanning and requires no signs on the floor, walls or ceiling. EVOcart™ won 2nd place in the Service Robotics Masters Award at AUTOMATICA 2014.
AUTOMATICA is an international trade fair for robotics and automation and the central meeting point for manufacturers and users of integrated assembly solutions, robotics, industrial machine vision and professional service robotics. At the last event in 2014, a total of 724 exhibitors from 42 countries presented their products and solutions; 34.493 visitors from more than 100 countries came to the Munich trade fair. Messe München GmbH and VDMA Robotics + Automation, conceptual sponsor of the trade fair, are behind the industry-driven concept of AUTOMATICA. AUTOMATICA takes place every two years. The next fair will be in Munich on 21-24 June 2016.
AUTOMATICA 2014 has for the first time presented a separate exhibition area for the topic of professional service robotics. As a result, AUTOMATICA is positioning itself as a business-to-business platform for professional service robotics and as leading trade fair for industrial robotics and professional service robotics under one roof. The focus is on saleable end products and components, which are used directly as capital goods. More details here.
Messe München is one of the world’s leading trade-show companies. It organises some 40 trade shows for capital and consumer goods and key high-tech industries in Munich alone. 14 of those events are number one in the world in their respective industries. Each year more than 30,000 exhibitors and some two million visitors take part in events held at the Messe München trade-fair centre, the ICM – Internationales Congress Center München and the MOC Veranstaltungscenter München. In addition, Messe München organizes trade shows in China, India, Turkey and South Africa. Messe München has a global business presence with affiliates in Europe, Asia and Africa and more than 60 foreign representatives serving more than 100 countries.