Image-guided system with miniature robot for precise positioning and targeting in keyhole neurosurgery

Leo Joskowicz*, R. Shamir, M. Freiman, M. Shoham, E. Zehavi, F. Umansky, Y. Shoshan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


This paper describes a novel image-guided system for precise automatic targeting in minimally invasive keyhole neurosurgery. The system consists of the MARS miniature robot fitted with a mechanical guide for needle, probe or catheter insertion. Intraoperatively, the robot is directly affixed to a head clamp or to the patient's skull. It automatically positions itself with respect to predefined targets in a preoperative CT/MRI image following an anatomical registration with an intraoperative 3D surface scan of the patient's facial features and registration jig. We present the system architecture, surgical protocol, custom hardware (targeting and registration jig), and software modules (preoperative planning, intraoperative execution, 3D surface scan processing, and three-way registration). We also describe a prototype implementation of the system and in vitro registration experiments. Our results indicate a system-wide target registration error of 1.7 mm (standard deviation = 0.7 mm), which is close to the required 1.0-1.5 mm clinical accuracy in many keyhole neurosurgical procedures.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)181-193
Number of pages13
JournalComputer Aided Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported in part by a Magneton grant from the Israel Ministry of Industry and Trade. We thank Arik Degani from Mabat 3D Technologies Ltd. and Dr. Tamir Shalom from CogniTens for their generous assistance in acquiring the 3D surface scans, and Haim Yeffet for manufacturing the experimental setup platform.


  • Computer-aided neurosurgery
  • Medical robotics
  • Multimodal registration


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