Koh Young Technology's surgical robots
Dr. Byung Ju Yi, a professor of the Department of Electronics & System Engineering at the ERICA Campus (formerly Ansan Campus) of Hanyang University in Ansan in Gyeonggi-do developed a prototype for ear surgery in 2011, utilizing 3-D imaging technology for the first time to address the complexity of ear surgeries. This was the ESOBOT (Ear Surgical Robot), jointly developed by Yi's team, the Medical School of Hanyang University, and Jae Sung Hong, a professor at the Department of Robot Engineering of Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science & Technology (DGIST). They first developed a technology to transform the facial contours of patients into 3-D data by the CT (computed tomography) technique and attached an electric surgery drill to the robot arm. The robot drilled a hole into the temporal bone, allowing surgery inside the middle ear. Experiments were conducted with mannequins to increase the precision. The Korean Ministry of Knowledge and Economy granted KRW13 billion for research over five years, then commercialization was taken over by Koh Young Technology Inc.
Koh Young Technology Inc., which specializes in 3D measurement and inspection technologies, plans to expand its business into the medical sector: both into the neurosurgical and the orthopedics domain. First, it is preparing to commercialize a brain surgery robot built on the ESOBOT, with the goal of winning approval from the Korea Food and Drug Administration and from the U.S. FDA sometime this year.
Koh Young Technology is already testing the system with a couple of university hospitals in Korea as well as with the Harvard Medical School in the U.S.
Source: IEEE, Robotics Business Review, Koh Young's patent