A $400,000 robot, which may hold the key to significant improvements in hip and knee replacements, is now operational at the Kolling Institute.
Known as KOBRA, or the Kolling Orthopaedic Biomechanics Robotic Arm, the new technology delivers an advanced testing facility while greatly increasing research capabilities.
It is the largest of its kind in Australia and one of just two SimVitro robots in the country.
Director of the Kolling’s Murray Maxwell Biomechanics Lab Associate Professor Elizabeth Clarke has welcomed its installation, saying it represents a significant step for orthopaedic and biomedical engineering research, new surgical techniques and medical technologies.
“KOBRA will be used to simulate complex human movements on joints,” Elizabeth said. “This is a new way of working and very few other machines have this capability where they can test joints through a broad range of life-like manoeuvers, like hip flexing, squatting, walking and throwing.
“We expect to use the robot in the testing of implants, particularly for hip and knee replacements, to gauge how the implants will function and to help ensure the movement is as life-like as possible,” Elizabeth said.