The variety of systems and concepts is considerable. Depending on their use and the surgical procedure to be performed, the main types of robots which can be found in operating rooms, are articulated arm robots, SCARA robots, hexapod and tripod robots, and the so-called snake-like robots. Tension wires and pulleys or toothed belts are often used to transmit motion from the drives to the robot joints and on to the end effectors. End effectors include grippers, forceps, scissors, or electrosurgical instruments. Low backlash and precise control without overshoot are paramount. This is very often ensured by mechanical preloading of the moving parts and a correspondingly optimized motion control.
With respect to the drive technology, this means that drives with excellent control behavior must operate with high precision and reliability during operation and must also provide full torque continuously even at standstill. In addition, compactness is important so that several drives can be arranged as closely as possible to the points of application of the tension wires. BL servo drives with gearbox and encoder, optionally with motion controller, are ideally suited for this purpose.
In systems with haptic feedback, the surgeon can feel and sense variations in resistance between layers of harder and softer tissue during surgery, avoiding injury to nerves, vessels and soft tissue. To ensure that the force reflected on the surgeon's hand corresponds as directly as possible to the force on the tissue being operated on, cogging-free drives with smooth-running gears are required for 4-quadrant operation of the drive system.
Our powerful motor families – with coreless and iron-core technology - complemented by the extensive range of gearheads, encoders as well as speed and motion controllers, are ideally suited for demanding robotics applications, not only in medicine but also in many other fields.