Institute for Robotics and Cognitive Systems

The Institute for Robotics and Cognitive Systems at the University of Lübeck focuses on medical robotics. This field of research is interdisciplinary between medicine, computer science, physics, mathematics and engineering. Likewise, the work group is interdisciplinary with scientists from these disciplines. Scientists from our group have designed the first medical robotic systems worldwide. Specifically, methods for robotic radiosurgery developed by our group have started to replace conventional radiosurgery, and by now over 130000 cancer patients worldwide have been treated with our methods. Beyond radiosurgery, applications of the methods developed arise in orthopedic surgery, cardiology and neurology. The main topics of current research are mathematical methods for motion correlation and prediction, as well as methods for image-guided navigation and inverse planning. Members of the institute have initiated large-scale and nationwide research efforts, such as the national research program ‘Medical Navigation and Robotics’, funded by the  German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft), and the Graduate School for Computing in Medicine and Life Science within the framework of the Excellence Initiative of the German federal and state governments.
Today’s most advanced methods for navigation in radiosurgery have originated in methods developed by our group. For other medical applications, like functional interventions in the brain, the requirements are even higher. In addition, the interpretation of the data acquired during functional procedures is a major challenge. Major goals of research are the minimally-invasive and non-invasive acquisition of electro-physiological data from the brain in vivo, the interpretation of the data, and their correlation to external motion. This gives rise to very basic research questions, and also a large potential for novel clinical procedures.