From Passive Tool Holders to Microsurgeons: Safer, Smaller, Smarter Surgical Robots
Christos Bergeles, and Guang-Zhong Yang
The Hamlyn Centre, Imperial College London, United Kingdom, Volume 61, Issue 5, Page: 1565-1576
Within only a few decades from its initial introduction, the field of surgical robotics has evolved into a dynamic and rapidly growing research area with increasing clinical uptake worldwide. Initially introduced for stereotaxic neurosurgery, surgical robots are now involved in an increasing number of procedures, demonstrating their practical clinical potential whilst propelling further advances in surgical innovations. Emerging platforms are also able to perform complex interventions through only a single entry incision, and navigate through natural anatomical pathways in a tethered or wireless fashion. New devices facilitate superhuman dexterity and enable the performance of surgical steps that are otherwise impossible. They also allow seamless integration of micro-imaging techniques at the cellular level, significantly expanding the capabilities of surgeons. Our paper provides an overview of the significant achievements in surgical robotics and identifies the current trends and future research directions of the field in making surgical robots safer, smaller, and smarter.
Keywords: surgical robotics, smart medical instruments, microrobotics