This Robot Was Specifically Designed to Drill Holes in Your Skull

Researchers from the University of Bern, Switzerland have created a robot that drills holes in a patient’s skull to aid Doctors in Cochlear Implant surgery.


Now get this: researchers from the University of Bern, Switzerland have just created a robot specifically designed to drill a hole in your skull. Now, I know what you’re thinking, and it’s probably under the lines of “Oh gosh no” and “This is how the robot apocalypse begins”. Jokes (or maybe not) aside, this robotic contraption is actually quite useful in the field of Medicine.

By Medicine, we mean the field of microsurgery; and in this case, the robot was specifically made to install cochlear implants, which are tiny devices that help people with hearing impairments by relaying the sound directly into their inner ear.

Source: Science Robotics

The procedure involved in this microsurgery implant is performed by a lot of doctors to a lot of patients per year, but that doesn’t remove the fact that it’s a very, very delicate surgery. One wrong move and they could cause permanent damage to the patient.

And of course, where precision and care is the critical part of a job, it’s always handy to let a robot, programmed to have much, much less margin of error than humans, to do the job. This is where the skull drilling robot comes in. The robot performs the most crucial and delicate part of the surgery: drilling the skull at the exact location and the right depth to access the correct part of the cochlea they need.

Source: Science Robotics

According to the paper which was published in the journal Science Robotics, the robot was successful in the drilling aspect, and the team proposed to further improve the technology by making it able to perform the actual implantation process.

The creation of the robot is not only useful for this type of surgery, but also provides a platform for other microsurgeries to prove that robots can be used in surgery planning systems, stereo vision, live detection of tissue types etc.

So while we wait for the Robot Apocalypse to happen and for technology to start turning against us, this robot could be pretty useful to us in helping reduce errors in the field of microsurgery.

Article Sources:

Tech Crunch

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This Robot Was Specifically Designed to Drill Holes in Your Skull

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