State of the art in surgical robotics: clinical applications and technology challenges.
Although it has been over 15 years since the first recorded use of a robot for a surgical procedure, the field of medical robotics is still an emerging one that has not yet reached a critical mass. Although robots have the potential to improve the precision and capabilities of physicians, the number of robots in clinical use is still very small. In this review article, we begin with a short historical review of medical robotics, followed by an overview of clinical applications where robots have been applied. The clinical applications are then discussed; they include neurosurgery, orthopedics, urology, maxillofacial surgery, radiosurgery, ophthalmology, and cardiac surgery. We conclude with a listing of technology challenges and research areas, including system architecture, software design, mechanical design, imaging compatible systems, user interface, and safety issues.