Pioneering research at Aston has led to the creation of the world’s first intelligent micro-drill. The drill, developed by the Biomedical Engineering Group, is able to distinguish between different types of tissues and membranes, identify the exact point that the drill needs to be applied, and apply it autonomously. Until now, robotic devices have always needed to be programmed.
The drill has been successfully used in cochlear implant surgery. The drill is used to create the hole for the implant and is able to distinguish between the bone structure of the cochlea and the delicate surrounding membrane.
The technology can be applied to many different forms of surgery and the team is now developing a range of drills for these different purposes. It is believed that the sophistication of the devices can greatly improve success rates in surgeries.