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New paradigm in radiotherapy

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Through years of close contact with oncology treatment centers and radiotherapy integrators, LEONI saw a strong demand within the medical industry for a patient positioning solution that combines this broad experience with highly reliable and well proven industrial products and solutions. With motion control and safety technology from B&R, LEONI developed a new paradigm in radiotherapy robotics: the Leoni Orion System.

As a worldwide solution provider for reliable industrial robotic as well as healthcare applications, LEONI's extensive product and service portfolio encompasses not only cable and cable systems, but also software development, programming, machine vision systems, automation and training. The latest innovation – a sophisticated patient positioning system for radiotherapy – comes from the company's ORION Center of Competence in Chartres, France.

The Leoni Orion System was a highlight of the ASTRO radiation oncology event held in San Antonio, Texas. The robotic positioning system is designed to meet the real-world needs of the medical community – with the primary clinical value being its intuitive operation that provides smart support to medical staff.

The robot's tool changing system allows it to grip the treatment table, or couch, in any location. Its 3D camera system monitors and adjusts the patient's position relative to the radiotherapy beam in real-time. The Leoni Orion System offers dynamic positioning control with six degrees of freedom and sub-millimeter accuracy. These features, in combination with LEONI's haptic technology – which allows the therapist to manually guide the patient into position – set an unprecedented new standard in radiotherapy treatment.

100% open robot controller

Solutions with integrated robotics allow optimal synchronization between robots and machines. "The openness of the B&R control system was a perfect match for our requirement of 100% openness for our robot controller," says Samuel Pinault, head of robotics innovation at LEONI. "The large selection of safe motion control functions combined with full openness make SafeMOTION and openSAFETY the ideal technology for safe robotics systems."

The next step for LEONI will be to integrate the safety laser scanner directly into the control network via openSAFETY. In addition to improved performance and reduced cabling costs, this will allow the scanner's safety parameters to be configured automatically by the robot controller – opening up innovative new options for increased productivity.

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The Leoni Orion System offers dynamic positioning control with six degrees of freedom and sub-millimeter accuracy.

Safe collaborative robot

The Leoni Orion System works side-by-side with human nursing staff, who are in immediate contact with the moving robotic arm that extends the treatment couch. In such an environment, it is clear why the Leoni Orion System must fulfill the strict safety regulations required for medical collaborative robotics.

The patient positioning limits of 10 centimeters and 6 degrees per second are ensured by B&R's SafeMOTION software, while the robot's mechanical speed is limited to twice the maximum safe speed to allow for efficient maintenance. The SafeMOTION software functions provide angular limitation of the robot's movements without requiring mechanical clamps.

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"POWERLINK and openSAFETY, combined with robotics safety functions from B&R, enabled us to design the most advanced patent positioning system for radiotherapy on the market." Samuel Pinault, Head of Robotics Innovation, LEONI

The future of healthcare

The increasingly positive results being achieved through radiotherapy cancer treatment have increased demand for the procedure and hence waiting times for patients. The task of accelerating processing times without compromising accuracy places extreme demands on the patient positioning system.

With a fully integrated solution featuring B&R motion control technology and openSAFETY communication, the Leoni Orion System sets the bar high for a new generation of flexible, intuitive, collaborative robotics for the healthcare industry – unparalleled in speed, precision and safety.

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Working side-by-side with human nursing staff, the Leoni Orion System relies on B&R's SafeMOTION functions to meet the strict safety regulations for medical collaborative robotics.
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Based on a 6-axis robot, the system achieves positioning accuracy of 0.5 millimeters, setting a new standard in radiotherapy robotics. Combining a safe robotics system and a sophisticated dynamic volume modeling system, the ORION robot requires high volumes of real-time data exchange between all hardware and software components. That's why LEONI chose to base its open and safe robot controller on POWERLINK and openSAFETY technology.

Download article as PDF:

New paradigm in radiotherapy.pdf

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