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Image guided robot for skull base surgery

We developed a neurosurgical robotic system to address the challenges of neurosurgery. It uses a NeuroMate robot as a new and effective surgical tool by adding a force sensor to the tip of the robot. The basic motivation behind our project is to significantly reduce the operating time of a complex procedure—bone milling at the skull base—by providing a safer and more reliable surgical tool. The robotized solution would only be used for the removal of the bone tissue, to gain access to the soft tissue region affected by the disease. We use a preoperative image, such as CT, to identify the region of the skull base that can be safely drilled (by defining a virtual fixture). Once this preoperative image is registered to the robots coordinate system, it can ensure that the cutting tool mounted on the robot remains within this safe zone. We chose a cooperative control implementation, where the surgeon applies forces to move the robot and the robot only enforces the safety boundaries.


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