A robot, created by of a joint collaboration between researchers of the High School of Industrial Engineers of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) in Spain and the Gliatech S.L Company, can be used to guide precise insertion of needles and catheters. It has a hybrid powerstrain structure which can allow precise, repetitive, planned and controlled insertions, the researchers say. In addition, it has a lower cost and it requires only a brief period of learning.

The robot can make precise and controlled insertions, deposition markers, and a specific administration of drugs, through the use of virtual planning, based on the analysis of medical images that are previously captured with a scanner.

The development of robots for surgical use is the result of the need to enhance surgical procedures effectiveness. The technologies based on automation and robotics can improve this effectiveness thanks that they are able to integrate diverse sources of information such as medical images and their processing, and also performing real-time complex tasks.

The patented robotic device has a hybrid powertrain structure with six degrees of freedom which uses the features of the serial and parallel mechanisms and whose structure is specially designed to perform tasks of guiding and insertion. In addition, it has a system with lasers and inertial units, which can allow doctors to calibrate and correct the position and orientation of surgical instruments. These instruments are attached to the distal end of the mechanism by using a coupling device that can be uncoupled depending on whether the insertion task is done by an automated robot (active) or by an expert manually guided by the robot (passive).