In the last decades robotics and mechatronics have found their way into many medical applications. Especially surgery has shown large potential for the use of robotic systems. The goal in medical robotics is thereby not to replace the surgeon by a robot, but to provide the surgeon with new treatment options to the benefit of the patient. Although this technology is still in its early stages, it will significantly change future surgery. The Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics contributes to this process by several research activities which reach from the development of a universal surgical robot and sensorized surgical instruments over advanced telemanipulation concepts to intraoperative autonomous functions and preoperative planning and registration.
Additionally, the DLR-Heart is an important topic of our research. This mechatronic heart is designed as a completely implantable assist device (VAD). For left ventricular assistance, it is connected to the left heart chamber and pumps blood back to the aorta using high pressure. For bi-ventricular assistance, each chamber of the device is connected to one ventricle of the native heart.