Many of the up-and-coming therapeutic protocols in ophthalmology are technically difficult, near or beyond the limits of human ability, and are being attempted by only a few surgeons. Surgeon hand tremor combined with patient movement due to breathing and snoring place a lower limit on achievable precision. Over the past few years, with the support of Intuitive Surgical, Abbott and his collaborators have developed a robotic manipulator that is more precise than all prior systems designed for robot-assisted eye surgery, and which is small and light enough to realistically be mounted to the head of the patient using a helmet-like device. In this project, which is supported by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health, the team will test the hypothesis that mounting the robot to the breathing (and potentially snoring) head of the patient will significantly improve surgeon precision to enable some of the most difficult procedures to be performed with ease.
The core research team includes Jake Abbott (Principal Investigator) from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Robotics Center, and Paul Bernstein and Balamurali Ambati from the Moran Eye Center.