Robot for Drilling Operations on the Lateral Skull Base
For severe to profound deafness cochlear implants are used. The company CAScination AG, together with the NTB, the ARTORG Center of the University of Bern and the Bern University Hospital, has the aim to improve and standardize this surgical procedure. This will can be achieved with the use of a robot, which takes over the delicate drilling process on the lateral skull base.
The concept proposed by the NTB was modeled using Rapid Prototyping and examined by the ARTORG extensively already in the operational environment. This is because the accuracy of the robot is not the only factor which plays a crucial role for the practical use. In fact the robot has also to be perceived as a useful aid by the surgeons. This goal will only be achieved if the surgeons are involved from the beginning and during the whole development process of the robot and can contribute with their wishes.
The five-axis robot sets a milestone in modern medical and surgical technique. It is characterized by its light weight and thus easy to handle in the operating room. The accuracy of the drilling process, which were previously carried out by the surgeon manually, can be increased tenfold. The preparation for the operation is carried out directly from the computed tomography data. During surgery, the robot can be guided by the surgeon via the integrated force sensor and thus extends the capabilities of the surgeon without taking his operational command out of his hands.