BORESCOPE - BiOnic ExoSkeleton for OrthoPedic surgEry

Duration: February 2012 to August 2014

In this research project funded by the BMBF (16SV5773K), a navigation system with an upper limb exoskeleton for assistive movement of the human arm is under development. The robotic system consists of a real-time tracking camera with optical markers and a 7-DOF serial manipulator for positioning the human arm and a tool on a preplanned path. The detection of the user’s movement intention is enabled with integrated torque sensors and an inverse dynamic model of the kinematic chain. Therefore, the cooperative system combines the human ability to make decisions with the precision and fatigue resistance of a robot. One demonstration application is the pedicle screw placement in orthopedic surgery. The endeffector trajectory is planned in the operational space of the tool and the drilling task is performed using a hybrid position-based implicit force controller with thrust force feedback.

This bionic arm "knows" the target region of the operation and leads the surgeon to this point. Furthermore, the position and orientation of the target trajectory in the bone is known. If the bone changes its location, the instrument, which is attached to the exoskeleton, automatically follows the new position of the bone. Thus, it is possible to stabilize the tool relative to the bone as well as to compensate the surgeon's hand tremor. Moreover, the system is able to perform pre-programmed operation tasks and to partially compensate the weight of the machining tool and the human arm, which results in comfortable work without fatigue.

Further applications of the robotic system for arm movement assistance of handicapped people, in rehabilitation, and automation industry are currently under investigation.

Research Group

  • Measurement and sensor technology, TU Darmstadt (Prof. R. Werthschützky, Dr. P. Pott) - kinematics, actuation, control, sensors – Markus Hessinger
  • Automation Laboratory, University of Heidelberg (Dr. A. Wagner, Prof. E. Badreddin) - Development of an opto-acoustic displays and user interaction - Eugen Nordheimer


  • Hessinger, M.; Faul, N.; Pott, P. P.; Werthschützky, R.: Dynamic Model of an Upper Limb Exoskeleton with User Interaction. In: Dreiländertagung - Swiss, Austrian and German Societies of Biomedical Engineering, Basel, Swiss 2016.
  • Hessinger, M.; Werthschützky, R.; Pott, P. P. : Haptic Navigation with an Upper Limb Exoskeleton for Robot-Assisted Surgery. In: 38th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Orlando, Florida, USA 2016
  • Hessinger, M.; Müller R.; Werthschützky, R.; Pott, P. P.: Tool Position Control of an Upper Limb Exoskeleton for Robot-Assisted Surgery. In: 9th IFAC Symposium on Biological and Medical Systems, Berlin 2015
  • Hessinger, M.; Müller R.; Pott, P. P.; Werthschützky, R.: Bionic Exoskeleton for Orthopaedic Surgery - Kinematic Structure. In: BMT 2015 - 49th DGBMT Annual Conference, Lübeck 2015
  • Pott, P. P.; Hessinger, M.; Werthschützky, R.; Schlaak, H. F.; Nordheimer, E.; Badreddin, E.; Wagner, A.: Active Surgeon Support during Orthopedic Surgery using the BOrEScOPE-Exoskeleton: System Design and First Results. In: International Journal On Advances in Life Sciences, 2014
  • Pott, P. P.; Hessinger, M.; Werthschützky, R.; Schlaak, H. F.; Nordheimer, E.; Badreddin, E.; Wagner, A.: BOrEScOPE – Exoskeleton for Active Surgeon Support during Orthopedic Surgery. In: 7. International Conference on Advances in Computer-Human Interactions (ACHI 2014), Barcelona 2014
  • Hessinger, M.; Hielscher, J.; Pott, P. P.; Werthschützky, R.: Handheld surgical drill with integrated thrust force recognition. In: IEEE International Conference on e-Health and Bioengineering (EHB 2013), Romania 2013


Markus Hessinger

Dr. Peter P. Pott


Technische Universität Darmstadt

Institut für Elektromechanische Konstruktionen


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Helmut F. Schlaak

S3/06 128
Merckstraße 25
64283 Darmstadt

+49 6151 16-23851
+49 6151 16-23852

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