Role Industrial Designer
Studio frog (Munich/Germany)
Frog designed a scalable language for three different camera housing size which has replaced the whole range of existing Aesculap cameras. Frog has already designed few endoscopic cameras for Aesculap (b braun) in the past. But they have always been isolated from each other, designed in silo and scattered over the years. This project was the chance to develop one stronger language for their different types of cameras, composed of different heads for serving various tehnologies such as 3D and 2D image. The purpose of this project was to give Aesculap a much stronger appearance and recognition in the market.
My role as an industrial designer was to offer & propose design directions and concepts based on brand values and ergonomic studies while assisting our principal engineer in coming up with solutions that was fitting both technical requirements and manufacturing process restrictions.
Credits Bertold Engler, Principal Engineering
Credits Mark Weedon, Creative Director
With both camera systems for endoscopic laparoscopy, Aesculap implemented a platform technology for the first time. That means that 3D as well as 2D camera heads can be utilized.
The designed language and uniform control elements for all camera head's variations allow users to expect a consistent UX and, through that, simpler handling in day-to-day work.
Time saving & error reduction are crucial factor in health care. The cameras are then designed with shortcuts with most important functions such as e.g. White balance / image enlargment / documentation / image rotation. They are preconfigured and activated by control keys.
The sterile draping concept also changes the game. It comes in one piece together with the endoscope's shaft and drapefoil for camera & cable. It allows to keep the camera out of thermal sterilization, and therefore prevents from faster wear and tears (optics > image quality loss).
The process is then optimized as the camera remains in the operating room, there is no need to prepare or transport for sterilization.
Ergonomics is one of the main driver for the housing design, because the cameras have to be kept save and fatigue-proof over for the whole duration of the surgery. The operating controls make an intuitive operation of the camera head possible in a darkened, sterile surgery environment.
We created several concepts to validate both ergonomic features as well as form development. Due to different scales and models we had to come up with easy scalable shapes and features. Both concepts were presented in renderings but also in unpainted 3D print models in real weight with endoscope and cables to give the client the feeling of the final product in terms of weight balance, grip and usability.
We quickly found appealing cues to scale such as light & cable integration into a "mono cable" design that seamlessly transfer to body preventing the capture of blood and dirt. As well as buttons integration on island that contrast with the body of the camera for more intuitive grab and perception.
Grip, ease of use with glove / plastic protection, comfort of handling for several hours, weight balance were factors to take in consideration for the design. Most of them have been tested through mock ups.
In the development phase we mainly focused on grip and ergonomy. We built the outer surfacing of all visible parts like housing cables wheels adapters and left the internals to the in-house engineering team. The cameras were also presented as semi functional appearance models in real materials and finish.
97% of surgeons appreciate the ease of use & overall performance of EinsteinVision® 3.0.
Results of a survey answered by 34 European surgeons. The mentioned percentage
combines the top two ratings “excellent” and “very good” on a scale of 5 possible answers.
Statement of the jury
"The striking, contemporary design of the Aesculap 3D EinsteinVision ensures high product & brand recognisability with uniform design features, while the meticulously conceived, intuitive design simultaneously offers optimal convenience and ease of use."
Statement of the jury
"The compact camera heads are extremely convenient to use and also impress with their ergonomically rounded construction, featuring significant colour contrasting."