The Galen Surgical System

Galen robotics is a new surgical robotics company formed for the purpose of commercializing the latest surgical robotics technology from Johns Hopkins University.
"The Galen Surgical System was created as an answer to the challenges faced by surgeons during minimally-invasive head-neck operations: long instruments causing amplified arm tremor and reduced precision, tight spaces near sensitive anatomy and limited work areas. The system is based on the technology developed for the Eye Surgical Assistant Workstation at JHU, holding surgical instruments together with the surgeon and sensing the surgeon’s intent through a force sensor. Because the robot has control over the instrument, it can filter out undesired motions like hand tremor, or constrain motions with virtual fixtures. The system’s typical applications are in laryngeal / vocal cord surgeries, open microsurgeries and in Image-guided sinus surgeries with virtual fixtures. It can also be used in otology, craniotomy, spine and hand surgeries. A clinically deployable version of the system is undergoing validation experiments."
"Russell Taylor, the John C. Malone Professor of Computer Science and director of the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics, is working to refine research and surgical applications of the Galen Surgical System, a robot used to reduce surgeon hand tremors and increase precision during head and neck microsurgery. Taylor also recently received a TEDCO Maryland Innovation Initiative grant to turn the robot into a more useable prototype for clinical practice use.
The Galen robot was created by a Hopkins PhD student, Kevin Olds, who worked with Taylor and is now a senior staff engineer at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Olds and Taylor based the Galen on technology developed for the Eye Surgical Assistant Workstation at JHU. The system is typically used in laryngeal/vocal cord surgeries, open microsurgeries, and in image-guided sinus surgeries, but it can also be used in otology and craniotomy, as well as spine and hand surgeries.
Taylor’s team created the Galen as an answer to the challenges faced by surgeons during minimally-invasive head and neck operations: hand tremor, visualization, and safety. Holding and manipulating long medical instruments (25cm) increases surgeons’ hand tremors and reduces precision. In addition, tight spaces near sensitive anatomy, delicate structures that might tear, and limited surgical work areas do not allow surgeons much flexibility. Surgeons also visualize the operating field through microscopes and endoscopes, limiting their view.
The beauty of the Galen is that it allows a surgeon to work with the robot. The surgeon guides the procedure, but the robot steadies the motion."
What’s more, the Galen’s different control modes—free hand, remote center of motion, teleoperation, and virtual fixture avoidance—allow the surgeon to choose how much the robot guides the surgeon’s hand through a ‘safe path’ during surgery, Taylor says.
If contact with a certain area of the surgical site could cause harm – that location can be programmed as a ‘virtual fixture’ into the interface. As a result, the robot will ensure that the surgeon avoids that sensitive area.
Now that the pre-clinical system of the Galen surgical robot is complete, Taylor is working on a clinical version that will eventually be used by surgeons in medical center settings."

Source: Johns Hopkins University, LCSR


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