Wednesday, April 18, 2007

neuroArm: Exploring the Depths of Neurosurgery

neuroArm is an MRI-compatible, ambidextrous robot capable of performing the most technically challenging surgical procedures. Its dextrous components are two image-guided manipulators with end-effectors that mimic human hands and are capable of interfacing with new microsurgical tools. It has tremor filters that eliminate unwanted hand tremors seen under the microscope.
Each end-effector is equipped with a three-dimensional (3D) force-sensor providing the robot with its sense of touch. A surgeon, seated at a surgical workstation, controls the robot using force feedback hand-controllers. Combined with a 3D visual display of the surgical site and 3D MRI displays with superimposed 'virtual' tools, the workstation recreates the sight and sensation of microsurgery. Surgical simulation software on the workstation allows the surgeon to calculate the optimal incision site, plan a path that avoids critical structures and permits risk-free rehearsal of rare or complex procedures. To ensure safety, redundant computer systems continuously monitor and control neuroArm's movements.