IP protection

PART a: IDENTIFICATION OF R&D Result                                                                      

·         The project team

Advisor’s Name: Department of Technologies and Materials and Department of Electrical Engineering
Phone:  +40.723.163396
E-mail: dumitrudc10@yahoo.com   
Expecting date of valorization plan submission:  15.12.2011

·         Identification of R&D activity

Acronym:

 DTM

Author of the R&D result:  Drd. Eng. Dumitru Violeta Dumitru
Company or University:  UNIVERSITY OF  CRAIOVA, ROMANIA
Phone:  +40.765.490314
E-mail: dumitru.violeta@yahoo.com
Sector: ENG – Engineering
Type of the R&D result:  Product

PART B: VALORISATION PLAN

1

Please provide a short description of the state-of-the-art and/or current trends in the field? How does the result fit into it?
As a novelty in the field, the research laboratories: M-Tran II (Distributed Systems Design Research Group – Tsukuba, Japan) Titech Hirose (Tokyo Institute of Technology), Conroe (University of Southern California – Los Angeles, USA) have developed units similar to serpent, with a separate spine and driven by wire for medical applications. Later their efforts were directed toward the following goals: improving dexterity by miniaturization (diameter, weight), increasing the number of serpent-type bending sections of low mechanical complexity, widespread use of numerical and programmable controllers.In the present research, we identified the novelty as the fact that the system (kinematic chain) with multiple vertebrae, ie a poly-articulated physical model, provides a tentacle robotic arm the ability to go through any route defined in 3D space. The vertebrae are held in contact by means of cables (wires) arranged at 1200 between them. By driving the two wires of outer mechanism it is possible rotation of final vertebra by an angle of ± 200in any direction. Using of vertebrae is also required necessary for compatibility of robotic arm with minimally invasive intervention; the following are required: a mechanism with small volume and light weight (in miniature); nonmetallic materials (polyamide, reinforced fiber); actuator located outside the robotic arm.Further research in different directions (reduction and components’ design optimization; getting better ability of the curve generated by bending; implementing Wii controls via Bluetooth (wireless); developing the feedback programs (control, correction of position error);  turning to peak knowledge in various fields: medicine, mechanics, physics, automation, etc..Compared with classical surgery, the robot assisted surgery is significantly reducing the recovery times and hospitalization of the patient. Thus, the project development is beneficial to society.

2

What is the problem/need/knowledge gap that the research result is responding to?  How was it addressed before?
The worldwide concern for robot systems integration in surgery has become a requirement in the area of minimally invasive surgery, with small incisions required (10-15 mm), accuracy, reliability, low cost of hospitalization. In the field of poly-articulated mechanical systems, three major technology trends are identified, among others:
-manufacturing poly-articulated robotic arms with very small diameter;
-serpent-type bending sections;
- provision of mechanical systems with high bandwidth actuators (Mpp).Currently, there is a lack of knowledge and models dedicated to research on surgical robots, on the reduced size and increased maneuverability. Thus, efforts were directed toward the following goals that are of worldwide concern:  improve dexterity by miniaturization, increasing the number of bending sections with low mechanical complexity, increased maneuverability in narrow spaces, ensuring increased ergonomics, widespread use of numerical control and PLCs, based on factors such as: increased range of action, design optimization, motion resolution.The main target of the research is to develop a miniature poly-articulated mechanical system (size, weight), low-cost, for exploration and interventions in a limited space (region of interest). Simplicity and small size are advantageous for reliability, safety, quick installation and ease of use.Modularization is their chance to win the market, as viable and effective alternative, not only by flexibility, but especially by development of standardized modules. This approach will quickly lead to lower level of product cost, the increased flexibility and maintainability, and perfect adaptation to the working environment.

The need to develop high dexterity robotic systems (super-redundant) is justified by the need to reduce the surgeons’ hand trembling and fatigue during minimally invasive interventions, and to significantly reduce the recovery and hospitalization periods for patients in accordance with regulations in force.

The added value of the project consists of:
- the innovative character of the project stems from the fact that within the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering laboratories at the University of Craiova, performing products can be launched on domestic and European market in the medical field;
- orientation of  activities towards research;
- training of young scientists in the field of applied/fundamental research;
- economic development of South West Oltenia region.

 

3

What is the potential for further research?
The project team has experience in the field and aims to increase the quality of research in the University of Craiova by promoting the results of scientific research internationally by attending prestigious conferences and congresses.Also, from a scientific and technical point of view, it is required necessary to develop modular configuration of surgical robots to enable the various components to be reconfigured or repositioned at any time during surgical procedures, as well as easy adjustment of length and assembly of bending sections (active and passive) along the robotic arm. This is important in testing the different configurations in real time and also to ensure the optimal performances of the designed system (ability to create a 3D space curve, ie, to keep the previous configuration).The conclusions drawn from experimental research conducted do provide new data on correlation between working parameters (force, speed, bending angle) and dynamic behavior of mechanical system. The results were used to work out the project execution of poly-articulated mechanical system and manufacturing of experimental prototype. Correlation between functions, shape and color by applying the principles of industrial aesthetic design has led to the harmonization of general appearance of the mechanical system.Further theoretical and experimental research can demonstrate that the results obtained can also be used in minimally invasive inspecting and exploring  in anatomical environment with many restrictions and difficult access, positioning operations of small loads; skillful handling of objects (catching for holding in and fixing by wrapping); actions behind barriers or inaccessible areas; exploration in remote and dangerous areas.

4

What is the proposed method of IPR-protection? (patent, license, trademark etc.)
The protection of intellectual property right is proposed for the project “Poly-articulated mechanical system” through national patent, registered with the State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM) Bucharest. As the product addresses not only the national market, but also the European and even world market, we consider that it is required to protect intellectual property rights by a patent in Europe too.

5

What are the steps that need to be taken in order to secure the IPR-protection? What is the cost of IPR-protection?
Steps that must be taken to ensure intellectual property rights are:
1. Working out patent application documents                                                           200 euro
2. Patent application is filed at OSIM (State Office for Inventions & Trademarks)   35 euro
3. Publication of patent application in OSIM                                                              58 euro
4. Examination of the patent application                                                                   575 euro
5. Granting of patent and its issue                                                                             115 euro
6. Keeping the patent in force throughout the entire validity period                      6809 euro

6

What is you overall assessment of the scientific maturity of the research result?
Development of a set of original knowledge directed to concept, design, manufacturing, testing and probing of modular robotic systems with application in medical field, is the proof of scientific maturity of R&D result.Database set up during experiments includes kinetics and dynamics (position / orientation, velocity, force / torque) of surgical instruments in a MIS structure (Minimally Invasive Surgery). Information collected will serve as a basis for defining the design specifications and requirements of robotic surgical systems.Scientific and technological excellence of research results consist of:
- Tasks of teaching; involvement in research activities on a contract basis, publications and participation  to scientific events home and abroad, have enabled the applicant to acquire extensive knowledge and expertise is surgical robots;
- Current status of knowledge, theoretical approaches and practical implementation, all  reveal that the solutions presented are real and feasible;
- In terms of costs, the estimated budget is  covering the required expenses for applied research as well as for conducting the laboratory tests.Since its implementation requires the changing of management concepts and methods in the organization, the product falls into the category of innovations in the industry.

The subject approached by the proposed project will contribute to development of social and economic dimension through: protecting and promoting human health conditions at regional and national level; national and international cooperation in top research areas.

KEYWORDS QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT (0-5).

Please put X as appropriate.

1 2 3 4 5
Scientific maturity X
Synergies X
State-of-the-art/innovation X
IPR-potential X

 

We agree that all informations contained in this form to be made public in the project „Inter-regional cooperation for valorization of research results – INTERVALUE”, by publication on the project website: http://www.urenio.org/intervalue/.

Suntem de acord ca informaţiile cuprinse în acest formular să fie făcute publice în cadrul proiectului „Inter-regional cooperation for valorization of research results – INTERVALUE”, prin publicarea lor pe site-ul proiectului, la adresa: http://www.urenio.org/intervalue/.

 

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