Interventional robotic systems: Applications and technology state-of-the-art

Kevin Cleary, Andreas Melzer, Vance Watson, Gernot Kronreif, Dan Stoianovici

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Many different robotic systems have been developed for invasive medical procedures. In this article we will focus on robotic systems for image-guided interventions such as biopsy of suspicious lesions, interstitial tumor treatment, or needle placement for spinal blocks and neurolysis. Medical robotics is a young and evolving field and the ultimate role of these systems has yet to be determined. This paper presents four interventional robotics systems designed to work with MRI, CT, fluoroscopy, and ultrasound imaging devices. The details of each system are given along with any phantom, animal, or human trials. The systems include the AcuBot for active needle insertion under CT or fluoroscopy, the B-Rob systems for needle placement using CT or ultrasound, the INNOMOTION for MRI and CT interventions, and the MRBot for MRI procedures. Following these descriptions, the technology issues of image compatibility, registration, patient movement and respiration, force feedback, and control mode are briefly discussed. It is our belief that robotic systems will be an important part of future interventions, but more research and clinical trials are needed. The possibility of performing new clinical procedures that the human cannot achieve remains an ultimate goal for medical robotics. Engineers and physicians should work together to create and validate these systems for the benefits of patients everywhere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-113
Number of pages13
JournalMinimally Invasive Therapy and Allied Technologies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Image-guided interventions
  • Interventional robots
  • MR-guided interventions
  • Medical robotics
  • Minimally invasive procedures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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