What are the challenges in making highly accurate robotic surgery?

What are the challenges in making highly accurate robotic surgery?

What are the challenges in making highly accurate robotic surgery?


Robots have routinely used in manufacturing microprocessor, explore in deep sea and work in a hazardous environment but nowadays it has been slowly entered into the field of medicine.

For industrial manufacturing process, robotic arm plays a vital role. Similar to the industrial robotics devices are also used for surgical use.

The minimally invasive surgery began in 1987 with the first laparoscopic surgery. There are a lot of advantage for the minimally invasive surgery. Risk of infection is less, incisions are small, decreased pain, and shorter hospital stay etc. are the some of the advantages of minimally invasive surgery. But there are several limitations for invasive surgery.one such prominent limitation is involving both technical and mechanical nature of the equipment.

Another disadvantage is the limited degree of freedom for the equipment used for the surgery. Such a limitation is the motivation for developing the surgical robots which overcome the limitations of current laparoscopic technologies and to expand the advantages of invasive surgery.

Hence robotic surgery offers some great advantages over invasive surgery. A number of surgeries which are more difficult can be made easy with the help of this technology.

Tools for surgical robots:

Surgical robots are computer controlled devices which help the surgeon to carry out most complex tasks. These robots act as master-slave manipulators which act as remote extensions completely handled by the surgeon.

Some of the most popular surgical robots are –da Vinci surgical system, ZEUS system, and cyberknife. These robots have two components which are connected to the data cable and computer.

The Surgeon’s master console which is the user interface of the robot provides the following functions

  • An endoscopic camera which provides 3-d view of the surgical filed which is kept inside the patient’s body
  • Master manipulators which are controllers that surgeons use to make surgical movements. These movements are then converted to real-time movements. Motion scaling is also done for the accuracy Control panel which is used to adjust other functions such as focusing camera, motion scaling, etc.

 Slave manipulators on the patient side manipulate surgical instruments and camera through the laparoscopic ports connected to the patient body.

Some famous surgical robots:

Da Vinci robot

It was first sold out in 2000 mainly used for cardiac surgery and mainly used for prostate cancer. This system has 7 degrees of freedom which means it is capable of movements similar to a human wrist.

robotic surgery

Fig 1. da Vinci Robot

The da Vinci system which is evolved from a telepresence machine consists of 3 components.

  • Dual light source with dual chip camera
  • Master console
  • A moveable cart which holds 2 instrument arms and camera
  • It has an outstanding mechanical design with excellent optics and smart friendly interface.

But this robotic system has several setbacks and it is unsafe for the patient who undergoes treatment with this system.

Zeus Robot:

Zeus is a medical robotic arm designed for surgery consisting of 3 robotic arms which are controlled by the surgeon.

zeus robot

Fig 2: Zeus robot

The first arm, AESOP, is a voice-activated endoscope which assists the surgeon to see inside the patient’s body. The other two arms copy the surgeon movements to make precise incision and extraction.


Another famous robotic system is cyber knife which is mainly used for cancer treatment .it is alternative to cancer surgery and traditional radiation treatment for cancer. It is the advanced form of cancer therapy that mainly focuses on radiation on the cancer-affected cell. Using computer-controlled robotics guided by internal and external imaging, the robot moves around the patient. It provides a wide range of movements, millimeter precision, and real-time tracking.

robotic arm surgery

Fig 3: Cyberknife

According to 2011 accuracy data, 642 systems were installed all over the country.

robotic surgery

Fig 4: Patient population

Blood Bot:

The main task of the blood bot is to take the blood from the crease of the human arm. The main challenge of the bot is to find the vein on the arm since the pattern of the arm is different from each human.

Da vinci robot

Fig 5: Blood bot

The bot does this by pressing the probe on the surface of the tissue and measuring the force on the probe. The pressure difference on the probe indicates the presence of the vein. Once it identifies the vein, it injects the needle and draws the blood.


This Japanese Company developed a humanoid robot like a nurse which acts like a helper in hospital. The sensor in the robot will determine the sound and turn the face in the direction of the sound. It has some pressure points on his arm so that it can lift a person carefully. However, the development of RI-Man was shut down and now they are trying to develop a robot called RIBA.

Surgical robots

Fig 5: RI-MAN

Challenges of Robotic Surgery:

Robotic surgical technology has not been fully developed because of few limitations. One of the major issues is the cost-effectiveness. The major contribution to the increased cost is the initial cost of purchasing a robot and its maintenance cost.

The other challenge is the bulkiness of the robot. This is an important disadvantage in today’s already crowded operation-rooms. Lack of tactile and response to the surgeon is another limitation of this robot.

The limited information for the surgeon about the robot is another constraint that affects the development of the surgical robot.


Robotic surgery was developed to overcome the limitation of the existing minimally invasive surgery. In this technology, instead of directly moving the instruments, a computer-controlled robot will help the surgeon. Some of the most popular surgical robots are da–Vinci system, Zeus, cyberknife, Bloodbot etc. These surgical robots all have the same kind of components but with different functional performance.

Although the surgical robots have so many advantages, it has some limitation. Cost-effectiveness is one such limitation. Although the surgical robots have so many advantages, it has some limitations. Cost-effectiveness is one such limitation. The other challenge is the size of the robot which creates difficulties in handling the surgical robot.









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