This New AI-Powered Robot Can Perform Minimally Invasive Brain Surgeries

The Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) in Hong Kong has unveiled an AI-powered robotic system for brain surgery, marking a significant advancement in the field of neurosurgery. MicroNeuro is a cutting-edge technology that seeks to transform the industry by making minimally invasive surgeries possible with unmatched precision.

Less than three surgeries per year are now performed with the assistance of a robot because the majority of robotic surgical systems currently available only feature cameras and mechanical arms with attached equipment. These methods have certain benefits over conventional surgery, but they still rely significantly on human hand-eye synchronization, which might harm healthy tissues.

MicroNeuro, on the other hand, integrates flexible endoscopy, precision control, and artificial intelligence to overcome the challenges posed by delicate brain tissue, limited space, and intricate surgical maneuvers. By breaking the limits of human capability, this innovative system can perform deep-seated intracranial surgeries, including ventricle surgeries, decompression for trigeminal neuralgia, and cerebral hemorrhage treatments.

Liu Hongbin, the executive director of CAIR, emphasized the need for advanced technology in brain surgery, citing its inherent dangers. In an interview with the South China Morning Post, he expressed the desire of surgeons to employ AI and technological innovations to minimize invasiveness in these procedures.

MicroNeuro utilizes a flexible endoscope that allows for nonlinear surgical trajectories and access to targeted locations through natural brain cavities. The system significantly reduces brain tissue damage by at least 50 percent, as demonstrated during trials conducted at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong, where tumors in the center of the brain were successfully treated.

The team behind MicroNeuro is currently working on an AI-enabled, fully sensorized, flexible surgical robot for neurosurgery. The ultimate objective is to harmonize medical practices around the globe, ensuring that more people have access to high-quality healthcare services.

CAIR’s ground-breaking research and development initiatives in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics, funded by Beijing’s state-run Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Hong Kong’s InnoHK program, have the potential to completely alter the area of brain surgery. With MicroNeuro, surgical accuracy has advanced significantly, enhancing patient outcomes, minimizing complications, and ultimately saving lives.

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