Autonomous neuro-registration for robot-based neurosurgery

  • Abhishek KaushikEmail author
  • T. A. Dwarakanath
  • Gaurav Bhutani
Original Article



Neuro-registration is of primary importance as it has a bearing on the accuracy of neurosurgery. Although the accuracy of surgical robots is within the acceptable medical standards, the overall surgical accuracy is dictated by the errors in the neuro-registration process. The purpose of this work is to automate the neuro-registration process to improve the overall accuracy of the robot-based neurosurgery.


A highly accurate 6-degree-of-freedom Parallel Kinematic Mechanism (6D-PKM) robot is used for both neuro-registration and neurosurgery. In neuro-registration, after measurement of points in the medical image space, the end-platform of the 6D-PKM surgical robot carrying the camera will autonomously navigate towards the fiducial markers to measure its coordinates in the real patient space. An accurate relationship between the medical image space and the real patient space is established, and the same robot will navigate the surgical tool to the target.


In order to validate the proposed method for autonomous neuro-registration, experiments are performed using four phantoms. The four phantoms are as follows: PVC skull model, two acrylic blocks and a glass jar with coaxial shells. These phantoms are specifically designed to simulate the neurosurgical process. All the phantoms are registered successfully using the above-stated method. After autonomous neuro-registration, the coordinates of the target point are determined. Neurosurgery validation is carried out by attaching a 1-mm-diameter needle to the robot platform, which is autonomously traversed to reach the target point passing through the two 2-mm-diameter coaxial holes. The experiments are repeated, and the results reveal very good repeatability.


A method for autonomous neuro-registration has been developed. The robot has been successfully registered using the above method. After successful neuro-registration the overall accuracy of the robot-based neurosurgery is considerably improved. The other benefits of the above method are as follows: elimination of line-of-sight problem, no need of extra unit for neuro-registration, less time for registration, intraoperative registration, human error reduction and low cost.


Autonomous neuro-registration Robot-based neurosurgery Neuronavigation Image-guided surgery Application of parallel manipulator in surgery 



Funding has been provided by Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, India.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

11548_2018_1826_MOESM1_ESM.mp4 (33.5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (MP4 34267 kb)


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Copyright information

© CARS 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Homi Bhabha National InstituteMumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Division of Remote Handling and RoboticsBhabha Atomic Research CentreMumbaiIndia

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