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Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Natalie Smith‐Guerin, Laurence Nouaille, Pierre Vieyres and Gerard Poisson

The purpose of this paper is to present a methodology for medical robot kinematics design developed using a knowledge‐management approach.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a methodology for medical robot kinematics design developed using a knowledge‐management approach.

Design/methodology/approach

A classification of medical robots is proposed based on their kinematic characteristics and 76 robot specifications were collected in a catalogue. Then, having drawn a generic specifications sheet, rules were proposed to choose a structure from these specifications.

Findings

Findings are situated at several levels: the catalogue, the classification of robots with respect to their kinematic characteristics, a generic and specific specifications sheet, and an organigram to choose the most relevant structure from the specifications.

Research limitations/implications

This structural synthesis represents a preliminary step in the design of medical robots which will be completed by an additional dimensional synthesis.

Originality/value

This work offers a new methodology for medical robots design distinct from what is usually done for medical or industrial robots design using intuition, expertise and non‐formal knowledge.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Robert Bogue

The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of recent progress in the development of medical microrobots.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of recent progress in the development of medical microrobots.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper first considers some of the critical aspects of medical microrobot design and then illustrates the present state of development through examples of prevailing research.

Findings

This paper shows that medical microrobot developments are at an early stage and involve a disparate family of technologies and disciplines, such as MEMS, nanotechnology, biomimetics and hydrodynamics. Critical design issues include power sources, propulsion and location, and many different schemes have been proposed. These are the topic of a growing body of academic research.

Originality/value

This paper provides a detailed insight into the present‐day state of medical microrobot technology and development.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Oliver Lange, Marcel Erhard, Christian Teutsch and Joerg Sander

The purpose of this paper is to present a novel microbiological lab robot that facilitates high through‐put sample preparation for rapid state‐of‐the‐art identification.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a novel microbiological lab robot that facilitates high through‐put sample preparation for rapid state‐of‐the‐art identification.

Design/methodology/approach

Development concentrated on two main points: research initially focused on various methods for picking a micro‐organism colony from a petri dish without any medium adhering; and subsequently on completely documenting sample handling with little effort.

Findings

A sensorless system for picking micro‐organisms from a petri dish was engineered and prototyped. A documented process in the demonstrator demonstrates its usability even for certified clinical operations.

Research limitations/implications

The handling of solid phase biological objects is only in its infancy. This research focused on the preparation of samples from micro‐organism colonies for MALDI‐TOF MS. A specific type of gripper was developed to do this. The handling of other biological objects, e.g. from cell cultures or intermediate stages of tissue engineering, is still a largely open field for future research.

Practical implications

New analysis methods often only become accepted when the preparatory processes are also taken into account – highly parallel operations (e.g. MALDI‐TOF MS) are particularly impractical for humans and difficult for data handling to manage. Given the specific demands, only an interdisciplinary team can adapt the automation engineering successfully.

Originality/value

This paper presents an approach to and implementation of the automation of manual operations in biotechnology. It is intended to encourage health professionals, biologists and engineers to jointly research and interdisciplinarily automate complex operations.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Richard Bloss

The purpose of this paper is to review the robots at the 2007 ATExpo Show and related Electronics Assembly Show, Quality, PlasTec and National Manufacturing Week Shows, as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the robots at the 2007 ATExpo Show and related Electronics Assembly Show, Quality, PlasTec and National Manufacturing Week Shows, as well as at the FABTECH Show and the Rockwell Automation Show held in Chicago.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper incorporates in‐depth interviews with robot exhibitors, as well as suppliers of accessories such as grippers and simulation software.

Findings

Each show brings forth innovations in robotics. After many decades of robot developments, the well‐spring of innovation never seems to dry up.

Practical implications

If an application cannot appear to be addressed by the robot of the day, wait until tomorrow and suppliers will step forward with answers. After more than four decades of robot development, they continue to get smarter, much faster and better adapted to application requirements. There is no longer a one robot “fits all” answer.

Originality/value

This paper provides information on prevailing trends in the robot industry which solve an increasing number of application needs.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Christine Connolly

The purpose of this paper is to study the innovative design of prosthetic hands now in production from a Scottish spin‐off company.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the innovative design of prosthetic hands now in production from a Scottish spin‐off company.

Design/methodology/approach

The novel features are described, followed by the details of the mechanical construction and the available grip patterns. The benefits of the modular design are explained, and the function and construction of a skin‐like covering are explored. The clinical network supporting the prosthesis is briefly outlined.

Findings

The design allows patients to achieve many functional and natural‐looking hand configurations from simple “open” and “close” signals. Miniature motors and gearboxes allow independent movement of each digit, and an integral microprocessor translates electric signals from the forearm to control the movements of the hand. Stall detection ensures that no finger exerts excessive force or wastes power. Artificial skin can be very realistic, with imitation fingernails, hairs and pores. The lifelike prosthesis helps the patient emotionally, socially and at work.

Originality/value

The paper shows how advances in motors, gearboxes, batteries and electronics have enabled a breakthrough in prosthetic design.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Yoshihiro Kusuda

The purpose of this paper is to review the iREX2007, the International Robot Exhibition 2007 held in Tokyo, Japan, with emphasis on new trends in the Japanese robot industry.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the iREX2007, the International Robot Exhibition 2007 held in Tokyo, Japan, with emphasis on new trends in the Japanese robot industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on in‐depth interviews with exhibitors and also major users in attendance at the show.

Findings

The Japanese manufacturing industries that shifted their plants and established production technologies overseas are now coming back and constructing new plants in Japan. For these plants they are now trying to re‐build a new manufacturing system that will enable Japan to regain global competency. Many exhibits of robots clearly demonstrated how robotics is responding to the needs.

Practical implications

Robot builders need to respond to new demands from users. Robot users will need to rethink robots as a valuable tool for solving new requirements.

Originality/value

The paper provides information on the trend of the robot industry, reflecting new requirements from society.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Adha Imam Cahyadi and Yoshio Yamamoto

The purpose of this paper is to present a design and verification through experiments of teleoperation of the 3 degrees‐of‐freedom micromanipulation system (MMS), in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a design and verification through experiments of teleoperation of the 3 degrees‐of‐freedom micromanipulation system (MMS), in laboratory conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

The MMS is constructed from piezoelectric actuators sited in a flexure hinge mechanism. The nonlinearity, especially hysteresis, due to a voltage steering scheme is compensated for, via a second‐order Dahl friction model. A simple mechanical model is then constructed to capture the behavior of the MMS. Redundant force feedback sensors are applied to the MMS in order to achieve flexible operation via the so‐called fault‐tolerancing mechanism. Finally, a teleoperation scheme based on passivity formalism is proposed to achieve a stable teleoperation system.

Findings

The hysteresis curve due to voltage steering can be minimized. The fault‐tolerancing concept using redundant sensors for comfortable use of the MMS has been successfully performed. The teleoperated MMS via a commercially available PHANToM® has been conducted under ineligible telecommunication channel delay.

Originality/value

The details of design, modelling and experimentations of the teleoperation of the MMS should promote the applicability of similar systems in the future.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

Somrak Petchartee and Gareth Monkman

The purpose of this paper is to analyze surface deformations caused by shear and moment forces on tactile materials and present a method to detect and reduce the risk of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze surface deformations caused by shear and moment forces on tactile materials and present a method to detect and reduce the risk of slippage by controlling the normal force as measured by tactile sensor arrays.

Design/methodology/approach

A predictive model has been proposed which uses a basic method adapted to real applications in grasp optimization. Prevention of premature release with minimum prehension force is addressed without the need to measure the coefficient of friction between object and robot gripper. Predictive models have been used to develop a set of rules which predict the pre‐slip based on fluctuations in tactile signal data.

Findings

The tactile sensors can be used in a “nonlinear” manner during manipulation tasks. When the gripper finger first makes contact with an object, the stress distribution under the finger skin varies rapidly. Predictive models have been used to develop a set of rules which predict the pre‐slip based on fluctuations in tactile signal data. Pre‐slip at the contact area just prior to object movement produces rapid but detectable stress transients.

Originality/value

Tactile sensors do not measure stress generated by a contact with an object directly, but instead measure strain in an interposed compliant, polymeric medium intended for sensor protection and prehension assistance. Reliable detection of pre‐slip has hitherto eluded researchers using such tactile techniques.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 20 June 2008

U. Hagn, M. Nickl, S. Jörg, G. Passig, T. Bahls, A. Nothhelfer, F. Hacker, L. Le‐Tien, A. Albu‐Schäffer, R. Konietschke, M. Grebenstein, R. Warpup, R. Haslinger, M. Frommberger and G. Hirzinger

Surgical robotics can be divided into two groups: specialized and versatile systems. Versatile systems can be used in different surgical applications, control…

Abstract

Purpose

Surgical robotics can be divided into two groups: specialized and versatile systems. Versatile systems can be used in different surgical applications, control architectures and operating room set‐ups, but often still based on the adaptation of industrial robots. Space consumption, safety and adequacy of industrial robots in the unstructured and crowded environment of an operating room and in close human robot interaction are at least questionable. The purpose of this paper is to describe the DLR MIRO, a new versatile lightweight robot for surgical applications.

Design/methodology/approach

The design approach of the DLR MIRO robot focuses on compact, slim and lightweight design to assist the surgeon directly at the operating table without interference. Significantly reduced accelerated masses (total weight 10 kg) enhance the safety of the system during close interaction with patient and user. Additionally, MIRO integrates torque‐sensing capabilities to enable close interaction with human beings in unstructured environments.

Findings

A payload of 30 N, optimized kinematics and workspace for surgery enable a broad range of possible applications. Offering position, torque and impedance control on Cartesian and joint level, the robot can be integrated easily into telepresence (e.g. endoscopic surgery), autonomous or soft robotics applications, with one or multiple arms.

Originality/value

This paper considers lightweight and compact design as important design issues in robotic assistance systems for surgery.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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