Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

Steadier Surgery

Even the world’s steadiest surgeons can’t avoid minuscule, involuntary hand motions. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute have developed active surgical instruments that can sense and compensate for these tremors. Tiny motion sensors on the tip of each instrument track its location, relaying the information to a computer. Software analyzes this data to distinguish intentional hand movements from the higher-frequency tremors. The computer sends a signal to piezoelectric actuators within the instrument’s handle that cancel out unwanted motion.

The researchers have shown they can cut the size of surgeons’ tremors in half, says project leader Cameron Riviere. These auto-steadying instruments should be cheaper and simpler to master than alternatives such as an electronically manipulated robotic arm. Within a year, the University of Southern California’s Retina Institute will test the devices in real surgery; several companies have expressed interest in commercializing the technology.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me