1. New robot able to help neurosurgeons in performing keyhole brain surgery

    published on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 under Research & Innovation

    EU-funded researchers have developed a robot able to help neurosurgeons in performing keyhole brain surgery. The robot has already been tested for its accurate performance during keyhole surgery tests on dummies. The researchers believe this robot can be used to help physicians treat their patients for epilepsy, Tourette's syndrome and Parkinson's disease.

    The ROBOCAST ('Robot and sensors integration as guidance for enhanced computer assisted surgery and therapy') project, which is funded with €3.45 million under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), has developed a robot able to help neurosurgeons in performing keyhole brain surgery. This robot is accurate in performance and it has 13 types of movement compared to the 4 available to human hands, as well as 'haptic' feedback - physical cues allowing physicians to assess tissue and perceive the amount of force applied during surgery.

    On the ROBOCAST consortium takes part experts from Germany, Israel, Italy and the United Kingdom. Future research plans include investigating robotic neurosurgery for patients who would remain conscious during their surgery. The consortium developed the mechatronic phase of the project as a modular system with two robots and one active biomimetic probe. These were integrated into a sensory motor framework to run as one unit.

    According to the researchers, the accurate on the performance of this robot is proved and it could be used to help physicians treat their patients for epilepsy, Tourette's syndrome and Parkinson's disease.

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