In this paper, a surgical robotic micro-drill is described that has been applied in the preparation of cochleostomies. The critical point of the procedure requires the penetration of the bone tissue of the cochlea while preserving the endosteal membrane tissue at the inner interface. This gives robotic technology the edge over manual approaches as there are benefits relating to the preservation of hearing and reduced possibilities for complications achieved through particularly precise control of the tool-point with respect to moving and deforming tissues. Using a novel approach to interpreting force sensory data the micro-drill operates autonomously guided by the state of the tissue/ tool interaction in order to discriminate tissue types and to detect the tissue interface before penetration occurs. The device also uses standard drill-bits.
- sensory guided