In touch with robotics: neurosurgery for the future

Neurosurgery. 2005 Mar;56(3):421-33; discussion 421-33. doi: 10.1227/


The introduction of multiple front-end technologies during the past quarter century has generated an emerging futurism for the discipline of neurological surgery. Driven primarily by synergistic developments in science and engineering, neurosurgery has always managed to harness the potential of the latest technical developments. Robotics represents one such technology. Progress in development of this technology has resulted in new uses for robotic devices in our discipline, which are accompanied by new potential dangers and inherent risks. The recent surge in robot-assisted interventions in other disciplines suggests that this technology may be considered one of a spectrum of frontier technologies poised to fuel the development of neurosurgery and consolidate the era of minimalism. On a more practical level, if the introduction of robotics in neurosurgery proves beneficial, neurosurgeons will need to become facile with this technology and learn to harness its potential so that the best surgical results may be achieved in the least invasive manner. This article reviews the role of robotic technology in the context of neurosurgery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Expert Systems
  • Fuzzy Logic
  • Humans
  • Man-Machine Systems
  • Neural Networks, Computer
  • Neurosurgery / instrumentation
  • Neurosurgery / trends*
  • Physicians / psychology
  • Robotics / trends*
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Surgery, Computer-Assisted
  • Touch