The Robotic Ultrasound Spine Treatment is one of the 2019 finalists for the KUKA Innovation Award. Created by Team RobUST from the Technical University of Munich in Germany, this medical robot aims to assist surgeons during treatment of micro-fractures in the spine. The video shows a surgeon wearing augmented reality glasses programmed with an interface. He is seen interacting with a 3D model of the patient’s spine using measurements from an initial scan.
The procedure goes through 2 phases. The first phase is the Pre-operative planning phase where plan trajectory selection is made using augmented reality. Color coordinated needles are placed along the patient’s spinal cord and the program allows the user to zoom in and examine a specific part.
The next step is the Execution Phase where there is tool guidance using augmented reality and a maintaining tool contact where force is applied automatically. A separate tool that uses ultrasound can be seen in direct contact with the patient’s back.
The Real-time ultrasound is displayed on a separate monitor and serves as a guidance for needle insertion during the operation. The color coordinated needles during the Pre-operative planning phase can now be seen applied to the patient’s back through the augmented reality glasses.