The Korea Herald


Hyundai Heavy to build surgery robots

By Korea Herald

Published : Feb. 19, 2012 - 21:12

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Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. on Friday opened a laboratory dedicated to building surgery robots within the Asan Institute for Life Sciences, the company said.

The center, run by medical professors at the Asan Medical Center, will focus on localizing high-tech robotic equipments used for surgeries on joints and ligaments.

“We’re working to build an upgrade of a robotic surgical system for artificial joint operations that allows a more elaborate procedure in a shorter period of time,” an official at Hyundai Heavy said.

“Some of hand-operated parts will come automated in the new version.”

In the opening ceremony of the laboratory Friday, the company announced plans to develop high value-added medical robots especially for brain and spine surgeries in collaboration with Asan Medical Center. The two in October signed an agreement to work in partnerships to lead the market for medical robotics in which 30 medical professors, including chief of Asan Institute for Life Sciences Kim Choung-soo, will participate.

The shipbuilder has been investing in the area as one of its growth engine projects to diversify its source of income. It targets a 60 percent share in the global market for artificial joint surgical robots in 2016 by raising 200 billion won ($178.6 million) in sales.

Asan Medical Center has more than 2,500 cases of successful clinical experiences since it began operating surgeries with medical robots in 2007 July.

Hyundai Heavy currently is the world’s fifth-biggest medical robots developer with a 9 percent market share.

The global market for medical robots is projected to grow to $1.3 billion in 2016 from estimate of $790 million for last year, ABI Research, a New York based think tank said.

By Cynthia J. Kim (