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Multipurpose glass processing platform enables integration of fiber bragg gratings for force sensing in medical robotic applications

Three DLR MIROs in a setup for minimally invasive endoscopic telesurgey. Credits by DLR

Versatile glass processing and fiber splicing system for actuated and sensorized surgical instruments for medical robotics

Throughout the last decades mechatronics and robotics have found their way into many medical applications. Medical robotics does not mean to replace the surgeon by a robot, but to provide the surgeon with new treatment options to the benefit of the patient.

Image: Three DLR MIROs in a setup for minimally invasive robotic surgery. Credits by DLR

Customer Requirements

The high accuracy of fiber bragg gratings in combination with their immunity to electromagnetic interference led DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics to start developing fiber bragg grating based 6-dof force torque sensors. This technology offers overcoming size limitations and thus being integrated into prototypic actuated robotic instruments.

This task started in finding the right sensor structure and the integration within the limited space available. New designs of spectrometers were also mandatory in order to meet the needs. Amongst others, these activities may soon find their applications in medical robotics where they will assist surgeons in new treatment options.

Our value

With this unique, multipurpose glass processing platform AMS Technologies has identified an economical and highly versatile solution for this special application. The system is designed for fabricating splices, tapers, couplers, fiber terminations and combiners on optical fibers from 40 μm to 2 mm in diameter.

AMS Technologies managed the technical aspects of the deployment, including configuring the software, training the project team, and defining validation procedures to ensure the successful launch of the solution.

Customer Statement

"The GPX-3400 offers full flexibility for a number of fiber processing tasks like splicing different fibers and the ability to evaluate multichannel coupling techniques for novel sensor concepts" comments Robert Haslinger, responsible for fiberoptic sensing at the DLR RMC in Wessling.

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