At the 1989 meeting of the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery in Maebashi, the authors presented the concept and design of a stereotactic neurosurgical robot. The first prototype has now been completed and has entered clinical testing. The characteristics are as follows. The robot is positioned behind the CT scan and operates inside the CT gantry. It is linked to the CT table and moves freely along its longitudinal axis, allowing for intraoperative scanning at any cranial level. The patient''s body rests on the CT table, but the stereotactic headframe is fixed to the robot, allowing precise measurements of the head position under stereotactic conditions. During scanning, each CT slice appears immediately on the robotic workstation for selection of target and trajectory. In addition to the tool for automatic penetration of the skin, skull, and meninges, the robot is able to handle two other stereotactic instruments and to perform a complete stereotactic procedure without physical intervention by the physician. So far, depth electrodes and biopsy instruments have been developed for use by the robot. Since all parts of the robot were designed solely for stereotactic neurosurgery, integration of safety aspects was optimized. The first operations using an aspiration biopsy probe were successfully performed on 2 patients with malignant intracerebral cystic lesions on September 4, 1993.

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