Medical robotics and computer-integrated surgery

Russell H. Taylor, Arianna Menciassi, Gabor Fichtinger, Paolo Fiorini, Paolo Dario

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The growth of medical robotics since the mid-1980s has been striking. From a few initial efforts in stereotactic brain surgery, orthopaedics, endoscopic surgery, microsurgery, and other areas, the field has expanded to include commercially marketed, clinically deployed systems, and a robust and exponentially expanding research community. This chapter will discuss some major themes and illustrate them with examples from current and past research. Further reading providing a more comprehensive review of this rapidly expanding field is suggested in Sect. 63.4. Medical robots may be classified in many ways: by manipulator design (e.?g., kinematics, actuation); by level of autonomy (e.?g., preprogrammed versus teleoperation versus constrained cooperative control), by targeted anatomy or technique (e.?g., cardiac, intravascular, percutaneous, laparoscopic, microsurgical); or intended operating environment (e.?g., in-scanner, conventional operating room). In this chapter, we have chosen to focus on the role of medical robots within the context of larger computer-integrated systems including presurgical planning, intraoperative execution, and postoperative assessment and follow-up. First, we introduce basic concepts of computer-integrated surgery, discuss critical factors affecting the eventual deployment and acceptance of medical robots, and introduce the basic system paradigms of surgical computer-assisted planning, execution, monitoring, and assessment (surgical CAD /CAM) and surgical assistance. In subsequent sections, we provide an overview of the technology of medical robot systems and discuss examples of our basic system paradigms, with brief additional discussion topics of remote telesurgery and robotic surgical simulators. We conclude with some thoughts on future research directions and provide suggested further reading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpringer Handbook of Robotics
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9783319325521
ISBN (Print)9783319325507
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Augmented reality
  • Haptic feedback
  • Needle placement
  • Surgical instrument
  • Surgical simulator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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