Innovative Automation: KUKA Robot Takes Over Sterilization Duties in Italian Dental Office

Innovative Automation: KUKA Robot Takes Over Sterilization Duties in Italian Dental Office

(IN BRIEF) Italian dentist and entrepreneur Dr. Giorgio Castagno has introduced a KUKA robot into his dental practice in Valsesia, Italy, to automate the cleaning and sterilization of dental instruments. This innovative approach not only saves time and resources but also allows the dental team to focus more on patient care. The robot recognizes and processes dental tools independently, freeing up staff from the labor-intensive and ergonomically challenging task of sterilization. This development is poised to redefine hygiene standards and improve patient care in the dental industry.

(PRESS RELEASE) AUGSBURG, 8-Sep-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — KUKA (ETR: KU2), one of the world’s leading suppliers of industrial robots and systems for factory automation and part of Midea Group, announces that Italian dentist and visionary entrepreneur, Dr. Giorgio Castagno, has turned necessity into innovation by introducing a KUKA robot into his dental practice, where it efficiently cleans dental instruments. This groundbreaking development not only saves valuable time and resources but also alleviates the workload of the entire dental team.

“The assistant had to take care of sterilizing the tools and drills, which took more than six hours every day,” Dr. Castagno says. In addition, there was the bulky protective clothing, the monotonous procedure, and the hours of handling disinfection chemicals. “So the problem was by no means secondary.”

In the world of medical facilities, maintaining impeccable hygiene is paramount, and the sterilization of instruments is a time-consuming task that requires significant human effort. Dr. Castagno’s dental practice in Valsesia, located in northern Italy, was no exception to this labor-intensive process.

Dr. Giorgio Castagno next to the robot cell in his dental practice.

However, in August 2018, Dr. Castagno embarked on a mission to automate this crucial task, liberating his staff’s time for more patient-focused activities. His journey into the realm of automation and robotics began with extensive online research, eventually leading him to Marco Galvan, an expert in the field. Together, they founded the innovative startup, Robota, to tackle the challenge.

“Friends and family supported our vision and helped us build the first real prototype,” Castagno says.

Their collaboration resulted in the creation of a prototype that swiftly garnered interest from fellow dentists. The concept of transforming this innovation into a marketable product gained momentum, prompting Dr. Castagno to turn to KUKA for assistance.

Today, patients entering Dr. Castagno’s dental office in Valsesia are greeted by the mesmerizing sight of a KUKA robot diligently managing dental instruments behind the reception desk. Within a glassed-in enclosure, the KUKA robot tirelessly handles dental instruments, performing a choreography of tasks.

The compact sterilization cell’s operation commences with the manual loading of the machine with instruments currently in use. Subsequently, the instruments undergo a series of automated decontamination, rinsing, chemical and mechanical disinfection, washing, and are then placed in a drying station. The KUKA robot, in this case, the KR 6 AGILUS, adeptly recognizes each dental tool, guiding them through each sterilization phase. In the final stage, each tool is meticulously packaged and sterilized, ensuring it is prepared for the next use. Once loaded, the sterilization cell can operate independently, even after the dental office’s regular closing hours. This revolutionary system liberates the staff from the taxing and ergonomically challenging task of instrument sterilization, enabling them to dedicate more time and care to their patients.

The introduction of KUKA robotics into dental practices is poised to redefine hygiene standards and improve patient care, marking a significant leap forward in the dental industry.

“At first, we didn’t know how patients would react to having a robot on the medical team,” Dr. Castagno says.  “But we soon discovered that they associated the cleaning island with a high standard of hygiene.” The KUKA robot behind glass is now very popular with patients in the waiting room: “They are enthralled by the sight of the tireless robotic arm.”

Media contact:

Teresa Fischer
Spokesperson Business
KUKA Aktiengesellschaft, Zugspitzstraße 140, 86165 Augsburg, Germany
+49 821 797-5276



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