Opinion: Augmented and virtual reality ‘open up whole new world of opportunities’

augmented-reality-glasses atheer

By Douglas Bruey, electrical engineering program lead at Synapse

At first glance, a gamer playing Pokémon Go has little in common with a surgeon saving lives in an operating theatre. But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that might not be the case for much longer.

Augmented reality and virtual reality technologies are poised to open up a whole new world of opportunities. We’re already seeing the effects of VR when it comes to gaming. But in future could AR add a new dimension to surgery?

AR and VR both have the ability to alter our perception of the world. AR takes our current reality and adds something to it – virtual objects or information. VR, on the other hand, immerses us in a different – virtual – world.  Continue reading Opinion: Augmented and virtual reality ‘open up whole new world of opportunities’

Brains trust: The impact of robotics on neurosurgery

Renishaw’s Neuroinspire surgical planning software
A screenshot from the newest version of Renishaw’s Neuroinspire surgical planning software

In this exclusive article, Stuart Campbell, clinical sales development manager of the neurological products division at Renishaw, discusses key trends on the use of robotics in neurosurgery

The curious case of Phineas Gage is one of the earliest and most well known cases of serious brain injury. On September 13th, 1848, Gage was working as a railway foreman in Vermont when an explosion caused a three foot long iron rod to be propelled straight through his skull.

At the time, doctors thought it impossible to survive such an injury and his remarkable survival and reported personality changes affected the study of neuroscience forever. In recent years, a new technology is changing the face of neuroscience – robotics, which offers high precision access to a complex and sensitive region.

Industrial environments are rife with automation and robotic systems. The upwards trend is only increasing, with the International Federation of Robotics predicting that by 2018, 1.3 million industrial robots will be entering service in factories across the globe.  Continue reading Brains trust: The impact of robotics on neurosurgery

The size of things to come: An exciting time for medical robotics

medical robotics human-eye-diagram

In this exclusive article for Robotics and Automation News, Chris Wagnerhead of advanced surgical systems at Cambridge Consultants, takes a microscopic look at the developments in medical robotics

This is an exciting time for medical robotics, as there is a proliferation of systems on the market or in development.

Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci, the long-time market leader for robotic laparoscopic procedures, now has potential competition from Medtronic, Verb Surgical (backed by Google and J&J), Auris Surgical, Transenterix’s ALF-X, and Titan Medical’s Sport system.

Similarly, the orthopaedics robot market is active with Stryker’s Mako platform, Think Surgical’s TCAT system, Mazor Robotics Renaissance system for spine surgery, and Blue Belt Technologies (now owned by Smith & Nephew) Navio system.

One interesting observation is of the physical size of the various systems as compared to the active operating volume of the robot.  Continue reading The size of things to come: An exciting time for medical robotics