Medical Robotics Magazine

The first and only commercial feature medical robotics news magazine, founded February 2007 by John J. Otrompke, JD, consultant and publisher


Medical Robotics Magazine is the world's first and only commercial feature news magazine devoted to all aspect of the medical robotics industry- including robotic surgery, physical therapy robots, hospital orderlies, and other topics related to robotic medicine. As a feature magazine, Medical Robotics features interviews, business news, conference coverage and editorials, as well as a generous portion of articles written by noteworthy robotics surgeons as well as clinical trials reports. MR has been on-line since 2007, and first appeared in print in January of 2008 at the annual meeting of MIRA (the Minimally Invasive Robotics Association) in Rome, Italy. Medical Robotics Magazine is copyrighted, features a nascent Board of Editorial Advisors, and is indexed by the U.S. Library of Congress. All contents (c) 2011 John J. Otrompke, JD Contact: John J. Otrompke, JD 646-730-0179

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Science or Litigation?

Which is a better way of determining the medical benefit of a technology- through litigation or clinical studies? Join Medical Robotics Magazine's discussion on our site at the Wall Street Journal Community.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Upcoming Robotics Conferences 2011-2012

TIROS (Taipei International Robotic Show)- Taipei, August 31 to September 3, 2011-
National Robot Safety Conference 23- Knoxville, September 19 to 21, 2011-
Vision 2011- Stuttgart, November 8 to November 20, 2011-
Robotics Industry Forum- Orlando, January 18-20, 2012-
International Symposium on Robotics 2012- Taipei, August 29 to 31, 2012-

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Seeking contributed essays and nominations

Please submit your proposal for an article or essay on medical robotics, engineering, surgery, practice and related topics to

Also seeking thought leaders to join our Board of Editorial Advisors. Our Board currently consists of prominent surgeons Dr. Tom Lendvay and Dr. Chuck Miller. Please e-mail us your nominations. Thanks!

Copyright Information

All contents (c) 2011 John J. Otrompke

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Medical Robotics an Active Specialty at Lake Superior State University in Michigan

Small School’s Acclaimed Program in Undergraduate Robotics Pursues Technology Transfer by Doing “The Opposite

By John Otrompke

March 23, 2011- Chicago

Lake Superior State University in the brisk town of Sault Sault Marie, Michigan, had a quandary.

“For years, we had an abundance of senior projects, but we were turning away a lot of good projects, and good ideas,” said Eric Becks, president of the school’s technology transfer project, SSMart.”

To date, the department has worked on more than its share of innovative medical projects, Becks said. “We just finished working on a surgical platform for a veterinary project, and now they are waiting on the FDA,” he added.

Veterinary platforms, while honorable, are not the only work the small school has done in the area of medical robotics. Inventors are often drawn to the public college on Michigan by the school’s unique approach to technology transfer.

“In most technology transfer departments, the school takes an idea, and tries to get somebody to commercialize it,” Becks said. “We work in ‘the opposite’ direction: the inventor is getting the license and patent, and we’re just getting paid for the engineering work,” he added.

Development of a prototype in medical robotics could cost a researcher between $10,000 and $100,000, not including the FDA approval process, according to Ron DeLap, PhD, dean in the college of engineering.

Not only is the school’s work a good deal for medical robotics inventors, but it is also attractive for students, Becks said. “Very few schools, like Princeton and Carnegie-Mellon, have an undergraduate program in robotics, and they tend to be a lot more expensive than our school is,” he explained.

Classes usually size about ten to fifteen students per class, and the program costs just $8,000 per year, plus an additional $8,000 per year in room and board, DeLap said. Graduates tend to get at least three to five job offers, he added.

In addition to the veterinary surgery platform and another project in preliminary discussions involving the design of a miniature surgical robot, the program also worked for a New Mexico doctor who ordered the construction of an anti-deep vein thrombosis machine to prevent blood clots, Becks said.

Light-Weight Robot Unveiled at AUTOMATE May be Used in Medical-Surgical Applications

By John Otrompke

March 23- Chicago

A robot newly unveiled in the United States by KUKA Robotics Corporation, which makes the robotic component of Accuray’s Cyberknife device, is being explored for use in a new surgical design by Titan Medical, out of Canada, according to James Cooper, vice president of sales and marketing for KUKA.

The light-weight system, referred to as the KR5 Sixx in technical literature, was already introduced in the European marketplace in 2010, but the current AUTOMATE show in Chicago was the first time the robot was exhibited in North America, Cooper added.

“The difference with our light-weight model is that has torque feedback in all the joints,” said Corey Ryan, account manager for KUKA. “All the electronics are inside the robot, whereas with the other ones, the electronics are in a cabinet far away. This robot has variable stiffness and active dampening, which means that if you push on it, you can get it to move a little, or a lot,” he explained.

The new system is better than the current Cyberknife system, according to Ryan. “With the Cyberknife, you have to have the patient immobilized, and the robot has to know their exact position. Here, the robot can find its way, and know if it touches a person . If you set up a force perimeter, it will know it touches something m ore solid,” he added.

Mako Surgical Robots May be Revolutionized by Changes in Movement Control System Made to Underpinning Technology from Barrett Technology

By John Otrompke
Chicago- March 23, 2011
An alternative method of controlling power and movement to robotic arms controlled by Barrett Technology and recently patented by the company may add increased tactile sensitivity to Mako Surgical Robots if licensing talks go through, according to William Townsend, president of Barrett Technology, which manufactures a surgical arm used in Mako Surgical robots.
The new power source, which is approximately two centimeters tall, received a patent in February of 2011, Townsend said. By contrast, the old box, still in use in current Mako robots, measured about half a meter cubed, he added.
“The new system will drain less power, and be much more compact. You could fit many more robots around the operating theater, and they will offer more tactile precision,” if the licensing proposal goes through,” Townsend explained.

The FIRST and ONLY Commercial Feature News Magazine

Devoted to the Field of Medical Robotics, Broadly-Defined,
to Feature a Board of Editorial Advisors and Commercial Advertising

Monday, March 21, 2011

Coming up next...

Coming soon to MR...

News from the 42nd International Symposium on Robotics in Chicago

Liability and Medical Robotics

...and other exciting topics in anticipation of MR's 10,000th Visitor!

Now Seeking Nominations for the Board of Editorial Advisors

Tabula Rasa for 2011

Medical Robotics Magazine Extends a Hearty 'Thank-you' to the talented doctors who served on the Board of Editorial Advisors for the past number of years. For 2011, we extend an invitation to submit a nomination for the Board for the coming year. Thanks!

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