Dennis Gabor Awardees Club event at the University Research, Innovation and Service Center of Óbuda University

The Club of Dennis Gabor Awardees (GDDK) held its November 23, 2018 event at Antal Bejczy Center for Intelligent Robotics of the University Research, Innovation and Service Center (EKIK) of Óbuda University (ÓU). It was organized around the interdisciplinary fields of engineering and healthcare, from the area of medical robotics to artificial pancreas.

The evening was opened by Dr. Ferenc Darvas, president of GDDK, then Dr. József Gáti, vice rector of Óbuda University welcomed the Club. Prof. Dr. Imre Rudas, founding rector of Óbuda University held a short speech about the foundation and mission of the EKIK, including the transformation of an institute with college traditions to become a Humboldtian higher education and research stronghold.

The welcome speeches were followed by the presentation of prof. Dr. Levente Kovács, head of the EKIK Physiological Controls Research Center, highlighting the results regarding their ERC Stg grant in the area of cyber-medical systems, started with the benefits and actual issues of digital healthcare. The audience could also hear about the center’s effort on cancer therapy, named ”Tamed Cancer”, within the confines of the ERC grant: this project suggests personalized therapy that could limit the growth of the tumor, making the patient possible to live with the tumor in a controlled manner. The presentation ended with the control aspects of artificial pancreas.

The next presentation was held by Dr. Miklós Kozlovszky, head of EKIK Bio-tech Research Center. The center is currently working on the research around telemedicine and physiological data, including the application of movement patterns in telerehabilitation. The presentation highlighted the importance of continuous ECG monitoring in the avoidance of sudden heart failure. Additionally, the center’s results on medical imaging and image processing were also shown.

The last of the presenters was Dr. Tamás Haidegger, director of EKIK, with the recent results of Antal Bejczy Center for Intelligent Robotics on the field of industrial and medical cyber-physical systems. The da Vinci surgical robot of the center, that is the only one in Hungary, gained special attention, as, alongside the da Vinci Research Kit, it is a key element of the center’s infrastructure. The audience could hear about the research on partial automation of surgery, in order to reduce the cognitive load on the surgeon by the execution of certain subtasks autonomously. The presentation also touched on surgical ontologies, the machine-readable description of surgical data. Further, the center’s work on surgical education was also presented, including the manufacturing of surgical training phantoms and data acquisition systems for the assessment of the surgeon’s skill level. The presentation was closed with few thoughts on the standardization and safety issues of medical and industrial robotics.

After the presentations, the guest were invited to see and try the infrastructure of robotics center and the demonstrations of the current research projects. They were able to use the da Vinci teleoperation robot in a simple training exercise, and could see the a KUKA LBR iiwa collaborative robot performing ultrasonic measurements autonomously on a breast phantom, that aims to enhance the success rate of breast-conserving surgery. As one element of the virtual reality based education of industrial robotics, the center's Fanuc robot could be navigated in a maze controlled via a smartphone. Additionally, the visitors could see smaller, collaborative robot arms bin picking objects using an advanced 3D vision system. The event was followed by a lively exchange of views, where, additionally to the technical matters, the socio-economic aspects of robotics were also discussed. The University Research, Innovation and Service Center is expecting students with strong interest in its research topics, and is also open to establish R&D partnerships with other leading institutes and industrial partners.

Written by: Tamás Dániel Nagy, EKIK