A surgical robot the size of a soft drink can overcomes space and access constraints of larger robots while delivering increased precision and highly accurate navigation for various clinical procedures.

Unlike larger, traditional surgical robots which need to control long, straight instruments that pass through small holes into the patient, the Axsis system from UK-based Cambridge Consultants uses flexible instruments 1.8 mm in diameter.

Axsis is one of the smallest known robots for surgical use. Credit: Cambridge ConsultantsAxsis is one of the smallest known robots for surgical use. Credit: Cambridge ConsultantsAs a result, novel motor and control configurations can be used, allowing the overall size of the robot to be reduced and eliminating the need for a large range of motion outside the body. With the right instrument design, the outer diameter of the minimally invasive access point also can be reduced.

The prototype micromanipulator is shown in this video performing a simulated cataract surgery, one of the highest volume surgical procedures.

To contact the author of this article, email engineering360editors@globalspec.com