A robotic smart drill developed by Aston University(UK) and clinically tested at the University Hospital Birmingham offers a more precise means of drilling. Tested in a cochlear implant procedure, the device is able to detect the approach of the drill tip as it approaches this tissue interface. It is then able to avoid penetrating the membrane, so avoiding drilling and other debris dropping into the ear. It is expected that this more precise means of drilling will lead to improved hearing for the patient following implantation. It has been tested on three human patients — all with successful out comes. It drills a perfect hole, the perfect size, in the perfect place and to a perfect depth. The robotic smart drill is currently only being used for cochlear implants, but the potentials for wider surgery applications in the future are extensive.
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