Design Engineering
Showcase 2022


Rapid Prototyping
modular programming
mechanics design
User Experience Design
usability testing
medical cobots

Project Details

Hannah Jayne Knight
Medical Robotics R&D
Design Engineering Intern

My internship was in KUKA’s Medical department and I worked on usability innovation. KUKA is based in 40 countries with 14000 employees. I moved to Germany to work at their headquarters and the department I worked in had 22 people. Out of KUKA’s many robots, I worked with the LBR Med, a collaborative robot (cobot) certified for medical use. The cobot is very successful, around 200 were sold last year and the trajectory looks the same for the current year.

Industry 72 Knight Hannah Knight

Role and Contributions

KUKA sells the LBR Med to companies that develop their own tool to be attached to the end-effector of the cobot. Examples of how customers use the LBR Med include everything from precisely cutting bone to hair transplantation. My task was to develop the prototype of a new tool to be used by KUKA trade fair demonstrators and non-experienced users of the cobot. The goal: to improve usability and meet market demand.

The new tool needed to include a touchscreen with an interactive GUI, handles for hand-guiding, and a rotation mechanism so the tool is accessible in any position of the cobot. Therefore, the most important skills were rapid prototyping, mechanics design, electronics prototyping, modular programming in Java, network communication, and user experience design.

I went further by conducting a usability study of the new tool with the help of the UX department. 17 individuals with varying levels of experience were guided through the tool’s features whilst I noted observations. The study finished with the participant completing a questionnaire. From the results I prioritised future stages of development and found the average System Usability Scale (SUS) of the new tool is 82.8 (the maximum score is 100) - an excellent result.

Output 300 Knight Hannah Knight
Infographic 300 Knight Hannah Knight