The DLR MIRO: A versatile lightweight robot for surgical applications

U. Hagn, M. Nickl, S. Jörg, G. Passig, T. Bahls, A. Nothhelfer, F. Hacker, L. Le-Tien, A. Albu-Schäffer, R. Konietschke, M. Grebenstein, R. Warpup, R. Haslinger, M. Frommberger, G. Hirzinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

178 Scopus citations


Purpose - Surgical robotics can be divided into two groups: specialized and versatile systems. Versatile systems can be used in different surgical applications, control architectures and operating room set-ups, but often still based on the adaptation of industrial robots. Space consumption, safety and adequacy of industrial robots in the unstructured and crowded environment of an operating room and in close human robot interaction are at least questionable. The purpose of this paper is to describe the DLR MIRO, a new versatile lightweight robot for surgical applications. Design/methodology/approach - The design approach of the DLR MIRO robot focuses on compact, slim and lightweight design to assist the surgeon directly at the operating table without interference. Significantly reduced accelerated masses (total weight 10 kg) enhance the safety of the system during close interaction with patient and user. Additionally, MIRO integrates torque-sensing capabilities to enable close interaction with human beings in unstructured environments. Findings - A payload of 30 N, optimized kinematics and workspace for surgery enable a broad range of possible applications. Offering position, torque and impedance control on Cartesian and joint level, the robot can be integrated easily into telepresence (e.g. endoscopic surgery), autonomous or soft robotics applications, with one or multiple arms. Originality/value - This paper considers lightweight and compact design as important design issues in robotic assistance systems for surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-336
Number of pages13
JournalIndustrial Robot
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Kinematics
  • Product design
  • Robotics
  • Surgery


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