Robotic Precision in Eye Surgery

Preceyes, a company that originated as a spin-out from the University of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, has developed a groundbreaking robotic system for eye surgery, specifically targeting retina disorders. The system offers a significant improvement in precision, surpassing the capabilities of the human hand by a factor of 10 to 20. This advancement opens up possibilities for complex operations that were previously deemed impossible due to the limitations of human precision. The benefits of this technology extend not only to patients but also to surgeons, as it enhances their effectiveness and accuracy.

A major milestone was achieved with the successful completion of the world’s first robot-assisted operation inside the eye at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. The procedure was performed by Professor MacLaren, who found the ease with which the surgery was conducted to be a significant advancement for robot-assisted eye operations and a validation of Preceyes’ technology. This achievement marked the culmination of a decade of dedicated work.

How does it work?

The system operates through a simple yet effective mechanism. While the surgeon sits next to the patient’s head, looking through a microscope, they manipulate a joystick. The motion of the joystick is transmitted to a robotic arm, which scales down the movement. For example, when the surgeon moves the joystick by a centimetre, the tip of the robotic arm moves only by a millimetre. The surgeon’s other hand can perform manual tasks as needed. The system is also designed to allow surgeries to be performed solely through motion control, utilising two joysticks and two robotic arms.

To provide a comprehensive surgical experience, the robotic system incorporates haptic feedback. This feature not only enables the surgeon to visualise the procedure but also allows them to feel their actions. Additionally, the system supports quick retooling, reducing the time required for each operation. The precise movements of the robotic arms are facilitated by high-precision drive systems provided by maxon motors.

In summary, Preceyes has developed an innovative robotic system for eye surgery that significantly improves precision, making complex operations feasible. The successful completion of the world’s first robot-assisted operation inside the eye highlights the potential of this technology in revolutionizing eye surgeries. With features such as haptic feedback and quick retooling, the system enhances both the surgeon’s capabilities and the overall patient experience.

Share this post
Scroll to Top