How Can the Characteristics of Continuum Robots Be Optimized for a Specific Medical Application?

Burgner-Kahrs, J
Latest Thinking, ISSN; 25105183., 2017
How Can the Characteristics of Continuum Robots Be Optimized for a Specific Medical Application?

Abstract


The use of continuum robots – robots that are not composed of rigid links and joints but are continuously bending structures – opens up completely new possibilities for surgery: With this tool surgeons can reach locations in the human body which they would not be able to reach with traditional surgical instruments. This enables them to e.g. remove brain tumors in a minimally invasive way. There are a vast number of parameters to be selected when designing these structures, like diameter, tube thickness, and material. JESSICA BURGNER-KAHRS explains that the ideal combination depends not only on the application but also on patient characteristics. In this video, she describes how the research team tackled the challenge of selecting the right robot design by developing an optimization algorithm that makes use of evolutionary concepts from biology. Testing their simulation results in the laboratory proved that the optimization works well, but also revealed a number of open questions.

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