RoPuc aims at demonstrating the feasibility of robotic technology within the scope of biopsy procedure execution with CT imaging supervision. Image-guided biopsy procedure is an area where accuracy and space efficiency is essential. Robot-assisted biopsy procedure is an alternative that can help out the surgeon to inject the needle precisely while omitting the risk of medical errors due to tremor, fatigue, etc.

For this purpose, ACCREA proposed their own robotic arm ARIA as a prototype needle guiding device, working with a specialized DICOM image processing software. As of today, ACCREA has successfully adopted their ARIA V1.1 arm, equipped it with a needle-guiding end-effector, and paired it with experimental control software calculating the trajectory of the needle and aligning the arm’s end-effector to this path. This setup has already been preliminarily tested and has shown promising results regarding the overall system performance, with improvements needed in motion precision. The next steps include the transition to a more precise ARIA V2.1 arm and integration of ACCREA’s own robot interaction module built around an in-house force/torque sensor.

In terms of future market introduction, ACCREA plans to perform a series of internal and external tests regarding the fulfillment of relevant standards, i.e. for DICOM image processing software.

Thanks to DIH-HERO’s financial support, ACCREA was able to permanently allocate one set of ARIA robotic arms to serve this project, and commit more resources to the development of an in-house force/torque sensor with all the surrounding features. Moreover, due to DIH-HERO’s simplified administrative requirements, it was possible to focus more on the technical side of project execution.

Declaration of impact