Croatian ”Neurosurgeon” Robot Awaits Certification

Lauren Simmonds

There is large potential partner interest in two major European cities, Düsseldorf and London.

As Bernard Ivezic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 1st of July, 2018, in ideal conditions, the Republic of Croatia could become a medical robot manufacturer from the year 2025 onwards.

Such a move would be the brightest jewel in the crown of the ten-year development of RONNA, a “neurosurgeon” robot created by Professor Bojan Jerbić and neurosurgeon Darko Chudy from Dubrava Clinical Hospital. Bojan Jerbić told Poslovni Dnevnik that they’re currently preparing for certification and obtaining CE certificates, which is a process that usually lasts anywhere from two to five years, after which, sales on the market can finally begin.

“Money isn’t a problem for us, we’ve got it, but it’s hard to find a RONNA certification partner. There are no medical equipment manufacturers in Croatia, and you can’t do that without such a company,” stated Jerbić. 

Because of this problem, partners are being sought across the European Union. Last year, a display of great interest could be found at the largest medical technology fair in Düsseldorf, Germany, and, similarly, such interest has surfaced in the British capital of London.

He says it’s too early to talk about business models, but has ideas for the robot as soon the necessary CE certificate is obtained. He wants to focus only on R&D, and business itself is of no interest to him, otherwise, the incredible Robot RONNA received the main innovation award in London at the Hamlyn Symposium last week. The ”neurosurgeon” robot has reached the level of autonomy four, one step away from complete and utter autonomy, the same as Mate Rimac’s amazing new Concept_Two.

“By the end of the year, we’re planning to apply it in invasive procedures, most likely in October, and the plan is to extend RONNA’s use in spinal surgery procedures,” he added.

He explained that RONNA is actually a two-handed robot, and so far has used only one hand purely to assist, and he will now be able to do more than that, such as working with bone drilling, as well as with instrument insertion.

He also pointed out that their success is the result of the approach itself. Robo-neurosurgeons have begun being developed from the starting point that robots are technically imperfect systems which cannot actually directly meet the requirements of clinical application.

“So, we had to develop a whole new set of approaches through which the system then adjusts to its own shortcomings. That’s why RONNA boasts cognitive abilities of an IQ of over 100 today, because it can create a plan of its own behaviour, of course, according to the surgeon’s instructions,” concluded Jerbić.


Click here for the original article by Bernard Ivezic for Poslovni Dnevnik


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