Spotlight-based 3D instrument guidance for autonomous task in robot-assisted retinal surgery

Mingchuan Zhou, Jiahao Wu, Ali Ebrahimi, Niravkumar Patel, Yunhui Liu, Nassir Navab, Peter Gehlbach, Alois Knoll, M. Ali Nasseri, Iulian Iordachita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Retinal surgery is known to be a complicated and challenging task for an ophthalmologist even for retina specialists. Image guided robot-assisted intervention is among the novel and promising solutions that may enhance human capabilities during microsurgery. In this letter, a novel method is proposed for 3D navigation of a microsurgical instrument based on the projection of a spotlight during robot-assisted retinal surgery. To test the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed method, a vessel tracking task in a phantom with a Remote Center of Motion (RCM) constraint is performed by the Steady-Hand Eye Robot (SHER). The results are compared to manual tracking, cooperative control tracking with the SHER and spotlight-based automatic tracking with SHER. The reported results are that the spotlight-based automatic tracking with SHER can reach an average tracking error of 0.013 mm and keeping distance error of 0.1 mm from the desired range demonstrating a significant improvement compared to manual or cooperative control methods alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9502523
Pages (from-to)7750-7757
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Autonomous surgery
  • Medical robots and systems
  • Robot-assisted retinal surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence


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