Thank you for following my blog!

Geplaatst: december 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hello followers,


This was my final blog post. I hope you have enjoyed the reading of my blog and you learned some new things. I have learned a lot of things that go further than simply the subject of my thesis.

Thank you for following my blog and thank you for your comments!


Koen Bloemen


lets talk bussines!

Geplaatst: december 20, 2013 in Uncategorized


Like promised in a comment on one of the previous posts i will talk now about the Financial aspect of the robot surgery.  The results are better with a robot but the price is also significant higher.  An article of the “artsenkrant” sais that a classic or endoscopic operation for prostate cancer costs the health insurance 5801 euro when a robot assisted surgery costs  6983. So this is more than 1000 euro difference par operation and also the so called “REMgeld” is 180 euro’s more for the robot assisted way.
A surgical robot costs about one million euro and the maintenance costs 100000euro a year. So the costs are very high. In a compare of the effect of the robot surgery we can see that 95 pct of the patients were free of cancer after surgery, with classical surgery this Is 86 pct. So some people sais that the costs are too high for the effects.

In my opinion this costs will drop in a few years. Nowadays the robots are new technology and there arnt a lot of robots so when there is more demand for robots the costs will drop automatically.

Thanks for reading!

source :

haptic feedback: the missing link

Geplaatst: december 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hello again!

Like you all could read in my very First blog post my thesis is about the development of an haptic interface for minimally invasive surgery.
But haptics? What are haptics? In the case of minimally invasive surgery haptics is a combination between a tactiele feedback and a force feedback. Lots of universities does research on this topic.
First the tactile component. This component is used to give the surgeon the feeling of a shape and a stiffness. The solutions for give feedback on this component are almost everythime a combination between a tactile sensor and a tactile display. Also KU Leuven has developed such you could see my first blog post.
For the kinesthetic part then. This part is used to give the surgeon the feeling of friction. So for this there are lots of possibilities. In my own experiment this is a lineair actuator controlled by a software program(Labview).
The big issues in this research is that haptics are complex. It is very hard to give the surgeon a realistic feeling at the outside of the patient. But there are of course also lots of advantages like zoom effects et cetera.

my own thesis experiment

my own thesis experiment

See you next time!

keep on practicing!

Geplaatst: december 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hello followers!

This movie has taken my attention in my search for new blog stuff:

This is a newsitem about a new trainingcentre for surgeons who want to make use of surgical robots. One citatation of this movie was significant. When a doctor is graduated for surgery he is able to make use of every instrument he want. So also the complex robotsurgery systems. This means if doctors want they can use this system legal whitout any training. For this the centre has been started. This centre wants to avoid that surgeons will use the robot whitout any training. Also can you see in this movies the problem whit the dept sight on the screen. The surgeon has no haptic feedback. Also the person in the movie talks about an extra advantage of the robot: the zoom effect. Everything the human hands do the robot does to but zoomed 5 times. So the surgeon can make a knit in a piece of wire of 3cm’s!



first you can watch this movie:

Space! The final frontier.  Whit this lengendaric quote i want to strart this new blog post. In this blog post I will talk about telesurgery. Telesurgery means surgery on a large distance. Of course you need a robot for this task so that’s good to blog about :D.
In the youtube movie there are three different situations. The first is in a special NASA aircraft. When someone who is in space has an injury the doctor cant reach him or her but the spacecraft can take a robot whit it to take care of the patient when the doctor is on the earth. Biggest problem in this kind of case is the zero gravity environment or the problems caused by turbulence. But researchers are trying to find good solutions for this problems.
a second situation is battlefield surgery. The machines used for this kind of surgery need to do also other things then only surgery. Things like removing the clothes needs to be done by the robot.
A last situation is in a submarine boat this is similar whit the air of spacecraft.

My opinion of all this is that it will save a lot of lives but I think the problem will be in the synchronous communication more specific for the spacecrafts. If you now that the space explorer Voyager one needs more then 14 hours to send a signal back to earth. Okay he is very far away and the technology is ancient but the speed of light is the only constant in the physics so signals cant go faster than fast.

source :

hello everybody !

My previous blogs where most of the times about minimally invasive surgery and more precise about the robots who perform this operations. In this blog I will talk about another kind of robots: the nursing robots.
The population in Europe will become older and older, this means more and more people will be in hospital in the next years. But the number of nurses isn’t big enough to take care of all those patient so there needs to be searched for a solution on this problem. This solution has been founded in the nursing robot. This robot is useful to do wiping tasks like washing the patient or clean up some wounds. To do this task the maximal force the robot can apply is kept low. The end effector of this robot is designed especially to carry a towel to wash the patient. This is not the only type of nursing robot, some other types are designed for lifting patients up, those are very good to unbury the back of the nursing employees.

nursing robot

nursing robot taking care of a patient

In my opinion these robots are a nice invention and a good solution. But not for all the patient the big missing thing in this kind of robot is that the robot has no feelings. So for some patients this robot isn’t useful. However it will be a good solution for the most of the patients. But robots are not human beings!

See you next blog!

source article and image:

flexible solutions for surgery

Geplaatst: december 12, 2013 in Uncategorized


something different this time :).

In this blog post a topic related to robotics and to surgery, something that is in my personal field of interests: surgery making use of snake robots!

First of all what is a snake robot?  A snake robot is a robotic device that’s moving like a snake, this means that the robot has a lot of joints and becomes very flexible: It can rotate in all positions, it can climb a tube and so on.

snake robot

snake robot

Above you can see a picture of a snake robot: the shape of the parts gives the robot blance , stability and possibly to role. On top there Is a camera mounted.

When we miniaturize this kind of robot it can be used for surgical applications.  The robot can help the surgeon to identify diseases and perform operations on our heart, diseased organs and cancers. We can equip the little robots with a camera a pair of scissors a knife and so on. Another goal for the future is to make this robots on nano scale so they can stay and work in the body.

The advantages of this system are at first the same as by the laparoscopic operation: its minimal invasive, less recovery time, less scars and so one. And at second this robot can move in for human hand or laparoscopic instruments impossible positions. For example in the classical open heart surgery the surgeon needs to make a huge cut and needs to saw trough the breast bone. With the tinny snake robot he only needs to make a few little cuts and let slide the robot into the patient this is very good for the patients recovery and the robot will be very precise don’t shake and all this little human imperfections.

My personal opinion is that this kind of robots will be a very big help for the surgeon in the future. Maybe they can send the robot (nano scale) trough a vane like doctors actual do with a “stand”. A stand is a kind of tube that is used to keep open an blood vessel. At least I have a movie of a research model of a snake robot on a heart.
Also new developments maibe can lead to “less” invasive surgery than in the MIS now by example when we can combine more snakes in one arm we need less inscisions.

hopefully i’ve gave you just a new view on robotics and his possiblities.


have a nice day and keep reading!