"The future of surgery is not about blood and guts; the future of surgery is about bits and bytes.”
/Dr. Richard Satava/

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Video Wednesday

Great autonomous performance on the DVRK system from the UC Berkeley team lead by profs. Goldberg and Abbeel. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Surgical Robots in Hollywood III

It is always interesting to observe how does Hollywood imagine surgical robots. Read our previous coverages here, here and here.
Two recently spotted examples are from Star Wars and Terra Nova:
 In Star Wars Episode III, Darth Vader is treated by droids having fallen into lava.
In Terra Nova Episode 6, a dinosaur egg is operated with a master-slave robot, where the surgeon's console is a virtual hologram of the egg. The slaves are very similar to the end-effectors semi-autonomous  Medical Pod 720i in Prometheus:

Watch the complete scene below:
Source: MMB blog
Special thanks to Bob Webster for the materials.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

IRISS -- Intraocular Robotic Interventional and Surgical System

Eye surgery is a key research area in CIS, since precision is an absolute must. Besides the Hopkins Eye Robot, Eindhoven's Microsurgery platform and KULeuven's robot, here is another concept from UCLA:
"The IRISS is the result of research collaboration between the Mechatronics and Control Laboratory and the Jules Stein Eye Intitute . The research vision is to develop a surgical platform capable of performing anterior and posterior surgical procedures via teleoperation and/or automation. The IRISS has the unique capability to manipulate two surgical instruments simultaneously through ocular incisions spaced millimeters apart. The large range of motion of the manipulator allows for both anterior and posterior surgical instrument positioning. To facilitate comprehensive surgical procedures, the IRISS can automatically alternate between multiple surgical instruments on each arm. Dedicated master surgical manipulators and microscope mounted cameras allow for 3-D teloperated surgical visualization based commands. This configuration also lends itself to computer vision based intervention." Last year, they went through animal studies with the IRISS.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Brain surgery - the Vanderbilt access

We can't praise enough the Vanderbilt guys for coming up newer and newer surgical robot concepts. This time, it's about brain surgery, with access through the cheek:
"The engineers have developed a working prototype, which was unveiled in a live demonstration this week at the Fluid Power Innovation and Research Conference in Nashville by David Comber, the graduate student in mechanical engineering who did much of the design work.
The business end of the device is a 1.14 mm nickel-titanium needle that operates like a mechanical pencil, with concentric tubes, some of which are curved, that allow the tip to follow a curved path into the brain. (Unlike many common metals, nickel-titanium is compatible with MRIs). Using compressed air, a robotic platform controllably steers and advances the needle segments a millimeter at a time.
According to Comber, they have measured the accuracy of the system in the lab and found that it is better than 1.18 mm, which is considered sufficient for such an operation. In addition, the needle is inserted in tiny, millimeter steps so the surgeon can track its position by taking successive MRI scans.
According to Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Eric Barth, who headed the project, the next stage in the surgical robot’s development is testing it with cadavers. He estimates it could be in operating rooms within the next decade."
Read more here, and via Science et Avenir and the Medgadget article.
Watch a lecture from Bob Webster:

Image credit: Vanderbilt Univeristy

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday fun

Scene from the "Carry on..." movie.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Medical Robotic Technologies Inc

 Medical Robotic Technologies is classical spin-off company of the Eindhoven University of Technology. They have been specialized on the commercialization of the amazing surgical robot prototypes coming out form the labs.
"MRT develops robotic technology for medical applications, starting from research results at the Control Systems Technology group (CST). Medical Robotic Technologies focuses on the cure sector, continuing development of CST‘s research projects in close cooperation with experts in the field. Application examples are reconstructive micro-surgery, vitreo-retinal eye surgery and minimally invasive surgery in the abdomen and thorax."

Notable examples include:
Check out some images here

Image credit: TU/e