March 14, 2014      

Clinica Ordonez, a physiotherapy clinic in Spain, is conducting experiments with the C-Bot robotic system for people with upper body conditions.

The system, created by FisioBot, consists of two robotic arms from RBR50 company Universal Robots, fitted with a 2-finger adaptive robot gripper by Robotiq.

Patients are also provided with an RFID chip that stores a 3D model of their body that can be used by physiotherapists to decide what treatment the robot needs to provide – thermotherapy, vacuum therapy, hot air therapy, electrotherapy or laser therapy.

3D modeling

With the adaptive gripper, staff at the clinic can use a range of medical devices, including inspection tools with a certain shape and treatment tools with a different shape, dependent on the treatment required. Some of the treatments require medical devices to be held at a specific distance from the body. This requirement makes a robotic solution ideal, according to Robotiq:

?In fact, the treatment tools probably shouldn’t be manipulated by a human considering the errors in positioning that are possible without precise feedback. With the 3D model, the robot can place the tool at the exact distance away from the body, all over the body, which in turn makes the treatment a lot more efficient.?

This video below (in Spanish) shows what the robot can do:

FisioBot joins growing ranks of therapeutic robots, with exoskeletons currently attracting most interest from investors. One of the leading therapeutic exoskeleton firms, RBR50 company Ekso Bionics, completed a $20.6m private placement offering in January 2014.

The global medical robot market was valued at $1,781m in 2013, but is expected to reach $3,764 by 2018, a CAGR growth rate of 16.1%, according to a new report from market research and consulting company MarketandMarkets.

In 2013, North America commanded the largest share of the global medical robot market, followed by Europe and Asia. However, rapid adoption in Asia is expected to account for most of the global growth over the next five years, MarketandMarket analysts predict.