The boom in the area of industrial robot solutions has been reported during the latest years. Industrial robots have replaced the hard, demanding, and monotonous work of people in various industry sectors, e.g. in the automotive and machinery industry, electronic components, and plastic manufacturing. Robots are used also in operations with increased injury hazards.
Medical engineering quality has been improving along with the development of new technologies. New technologies resulted in the development of sophisticated automated equipment that increases the effectiveness and success rate of medical interventions and thereby finally reduces medicare cost. Along with high sophisticated diagnostic imaging equipment, e.g. computer tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, medical robotic technology has been increasingly utilized lately. Amongst it, we should mention the robotic equipment facilitating handling with patients (robotic arms, robotic beds), robotic rehabilitation equipment assisting at exercises with upper and lower extremities. Robots used during medical-surgical interventions represent the latest achievement in this area. All such equipment must meet strict medical standards, making the development in this area even more demanding.
SPINEA® reduction gears have been successfully applied in the spinal surgery robots. It is a new, revolutionary method of surgical intervention performed with higher preciseness and safety than ever before. The robot performs here as an auxiliary solid hand of a surgeon. With positioning accuracy in hundredths of a millimeter, a robotic arm increases surgical intervention accuracy several-fold. Such high accuracy is required during drilling of holes for screws serving to spinal vertebrae fixation since an inaccurate movement or position of a surgical instrument could result in damage to the spinal cord. Surgery performed upon the robotic arm assistance differs from the standard surgical intervention. After pre-surgery patient´s spine scanning, the surgeon shall define all steps to be done during the surgical intervention in a simple way on the computer with the aid of a 3D spinal cord model, while the patients are resting in the hospital ward. The patient´s spinal cord is then once more scanned just before the surgery. The zero points is set up then, aimed at aligning the backbone position with the control system data. The robotic arm will perform a surgeon- defined steps. Actions performed by the robotic arm refer to relocation and fixation of surgical instrument holder in the exact position in order to perform the surgical intervention. In this way, the robotic arm eliminates the human factor, be it tremors in the hands or faulty motion of the instrument. The time of surgical intervention by the robotic arm is much shorter than in the case of the standard method applied. Medical staff is exposed to X-ray radiationless and the intervention is invasive only to the minimum required extent. During the surgery, the patient loses far less blood; post-surgery pain is lower and recovery time is much shorter.
Reduction gears represent the key component determining the surgical robot features. SPINEA® reduction gears have extremely high torsional and tilting stiffness, ensuring that the robotic arm can firmly and steadily work in the required position. High precision of SPINEA® gearing mechanism used in particular robot joints provides for overall preciseness of the end robot component position where the surgical instruments are affixed to. Small dimensions of the gearbox body together with integrated radial-axial bearing and high gear ratio allow for compact robotic arm design while minimizing its spatial size. Safety and high reliability of SPINEA gears, verified by long- term testing in high dynamic cycles highly exceeding real requirements laid on the surgical robot segment, represent another significant factor. The low noise rate of gears and their zero maintenance demand is highly appreciated in the surgical theaters where the robots are installed.
Robots with SPINEA® reduction gearboxes have properties that predetermine them to use in spinal surgery and microsurgery where high preciseness is required, as well as in orthopedic surgery with required high stiffness. These robots meet very strict criteria defined in FDA standards. They are installed in the most prestigious clinics across the USA and Western Europe.