Bone-Mounted Miniature Robot for Surgical Procedures: Concept and Clinical Applications

Moshe Shoham*, Michael Burman, Eli Zehavi, Leo Joskowicz, Eduard Batkilin, Yigal Kunicher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

254 Scopus citations


This paper presents a new approach to robot-assisted spine and trauma surgery in which a miniature robot is directly mounted on the patient's bony structure near the surgical site. The robot is designed to operate in a semiactive mode to precisely position and orient a drill or a needle in various surgical procedures. Since the robot forms a single rigid body with the anatomy, there is no need for immobilization or motion tracking, which greatly enhances and simplifies the robot's registration to the target anatomy. To demonstrate this concept, we developed the MiniAture Robot for Surgical procedures (MARS), a cylindrical 5 × 7 cm3, 200-g, six-degree-of-freedom parallel manipulator. We are currently developing two clinical applications to demonstrate the concept: 1) surgical tools guiding for spinal pedicle screws placement; and 2) drill guiding for distal locking screws in intramedullary nailing. In both cases, a tool guide attached to the robot is positioned at a planned location with a few intraoperative fluoroscopic X-ray images. Preliminary in-vitro experiments demonstrate the feasibility of this concept.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)893-901
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2003


  • Image-based robot registration and targeting
  • Medical robotics
  • Orthopaedics
  • Surgical robots


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