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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 7 (2010), Issue 3, Pages 231-239

Robotics as a Support Tool for Experimental Optimisation of Surgical Strategies in Orthopaedic Surgery

Manel Frigola,1 Manuel Vinagre,1 Alicia Casals,1 Josep Amat,2 Fernando Santana,3 and Carlos Torrens3

1Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia and Technical University of Catalonia, Baldiri Reixac, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
2Department of Automatic Control, Technical University of Catalonia, Edifici Omega, Jordi Girona, 1-3, Barcelona, Spain
3Orthopedic Department at Hospital del Mar, IMAS, Passeig Maritim, 08003, Barcelona, Spain

Received 14 June 2010

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Robotics has shown its potential not only in assisting the surgeon during an intervention but also as a tool for training and for surgical procedure's evaluation. Thus, robotics can constitute an extension of simulators that are based on the high capabilities of computer graphics. In addition, haptics has taken a first step in increasing the performance of current virtual reality systems based uniquely on computer simulation and their corresponding interface devices. As a further step in the field of training and learning in surgery, this work describes a robotic experimental workstation composed of robots and specific measuring devices, together with their corresponding control and monitoring strategies for orthopaedic surgery. Through a case study, humerus arthroplasty, experimental evaluation shows the possibilities of having a test bed available for repetitive and quantifiable trials, which make a reliable scientific comparison between different surgical strategies possible.