Spanish researchers have created a robot that gives medical professionals better control over insertion of catheters, needles or stents.
Based on a hybrid power-train structure, the robot has six degrees of freedom and is equipped with lasers and inertial units allowing doctors to calibrate and correct the position and orientation of surgical instruments.
Developed jointly by researchers from the Technical University of Madrid and a private company Gliatech SL, the robot relies on virtual planning based on analysis of medical images previously captured using a scanner.
The team believes the system can enhance effectiveness of surgical procedures by integrating diverse sources of information such as medical images and their processing, and also performing real-time complex tasks.
The surgical instruments are attached to the distal end of the mechanism by a coupling device that can be uncoupled depending on whether the insertion task is performed automatically by the robot or whether a medical professional is guiding the machine.
The robot could also serve to take samples of bodily fluids and tissues for diagnostic tests including.
A similar robot, designed to reduce stress of inserting catheters to children has previously been created by a research team in Israel.