Researchers design steady-handed robot for brain surgery

Nov 28, 2011
Surgeons operate on a patient in July 2011 in Baghdad. Neurosurgeons may one day get help in operating rooms from a robot with movements 10 times steadier than the human hand to perform delicate brain surgeries, the EU said Monday.

Neurosurgeons may one day get help in operating rooms from a robot with movements 10 times steadier than the human hand to perform delicate brain surgeries, the EU said Monday.

The European Commission touted the EU-funded ROBOCAST project as a breakthrough in robotic neurosurgery that could in future help treat tumors, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and Tourette syndrome.

Developped by British, German, Italian and Israeli researchers, the , guided by a surgeon, has 13 types of movement compared to four available to human hands during minimally .

It even has "haptic feedback", or physical cues that allow surgeons to assess tissue and feel the amount of force applied during surgery, the European Commission said in reporting the EU-funded ROBOCAST project.

The robot has only been tested on dummies so far, performing keyhole neurosurgery, in which a probe enters a tiny hole in the skull to manipulate tissue or collect blood and other fluids.

"Robots can reduce surgeon's tremor tenfold, making them especially useful in protecting the delicate and important ," the commission said.

The European Union, marking European Robotics Week, said it was funding a parallel project involving three robots to assist surgeons operating on patients who must stay away during .

The EU's executive Commission has already spent 400 million euros in around 100 robotics projects. Brussels says for robot-related products was worth around 15.5 billion euros in 2010, including 3.0 billion in Europe.

Explore further: Socially-assistive robots help kids with autism learn by providing personalized prompts

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Can you feel the force?

Aug 15, 2011

Engineering students from the University of Leeds have found a way to let surgeons keep their sense of touch when operating at a distance with ‘keyhole’ techniques.

Robot's gentle touch aids delicate cancer surgery

Aug 21, 2009

New, delicate surgery techniques to hunt for tumours could benefit from a lighter touch - but from a robot, rather than from a human hand. Canadian researchers have created a touchy-feely robot that detects tougher tumour ...

Recommended for you

FIXD tells car drivers via smartphone what is wrong

9 hours ago

A key source of anxiety while driving solo, when even a bothersome back-seat driver's comments would have made you listen: the "check engine" light is on but you do not feel, smell or see anything wrong. ...

Watching others play video games is the new spectator sport

15 hours ago

As the UK's largest gaming festival, Insomnia, wrapped up its latest event on August 25, I watched a short piece of BBC Breakfast news reporting from the festival. The reporter and some of the interviewees appeared baff ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

antialias_physorg
not rated yet Nov 29, 2011
The European Union, marking European Robotics Week, said it was funding a parallel project involving three robots to assist surgeons operating on patients who must stay away during neurosurgery.

Um..this sentence is a bit ambiguous. Who exactly must 'stay away'?
Sounds a bit like "Janet tells Jane she has cancer. Who has cancer?"