A surgical robot for cochleostomy

P. N. Brett*, R. P. Taylor, D. Proops, C. Coulson, A. Reid, M. V. Griffiths

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


In this paper a robotic micro-drilling technique for surgery is described. The device has been deployed in cochleostomy, a precise micro-surgical procedure where the critical stage of controlling penetration of the outer bone tissue of the cochlea is achieved without penetration of the endosteal membrane at the medial surface. The significance of the work is that the device navigates by using transients of the reactive drilling forces to discriminate cutting conditions, state of tissue and the detection of the medial surface before drill break-out occurs. This is the first autonomous surgical robot to use this technique in real-time as a navigation function in the operating room and unlike other fully autonomous surgical robotic processes it is carried out without the use pre-operative data to control the motion of the tool. To control tool points in flexible tissues requires self-referencing to the tissue position in real time. There is also the need to discriminate deflections of the tissue, tissue interface, involuntary patients/ tissue movement and indeed movement induced by the drill itself, which require different strategies to be selected for control. As a result of the design of the final system, the break-out process of the drill can either controlled to the required level of protrusion through the flexible interface or can be avoided altogether, with the drill bit at the medial surface. This enables, for the first time, the control of fine penetration with such great precision.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnnual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology - Proceedings
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
Event29th Annual International Conference of IEEE-EMBS, Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC'07 - Lyon, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Aug 200726 Aug 2007


Conference29th Annual International Conference of IEEE-EMBS, Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC'07
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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