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Positioning system of an effector organ with a moveable movement centre

Diagnostic equipmentNeurosurgeryPositioning systemSurgical equipmentTerminal effector organ


In the neurosurgical field, in order to obtain a precise three-dimensional positioning of the surgical instrument, systems are used for the positioning of a terminal effector organ. The effector organ can handle any diagnostic (e.g., a probe) or surgical equipment (e.g., a cutting instrument). However, state-of-the-art positioning systems are either complex and inconvenient robotic systems, or are manual, directly controlled by the surgeon’s hand, with precision and accuracy dependent solely on the surgeon’s ability. One purpose of this invention is to create a system for the positioning in space of a terminal effector organ in which this system is improved compared to the previous technique.

Technical features

The proposed system is a miniaturized robotic system with remote motion center for the positioning in space of a terminal effector organ. It includes a first displacement assembly configured to support and orient/arrange a terminal effector organ in a spherical coordinate workspace. A second displacement assembly supports the first to move it to a Cartesian coordinate space X,Y,Z. In addition, the first assembly includes an arched guide rail supported in rotation by the second displacement assembly. The guide rail develops over a section of circumference, in particular a semi-circle, which is defined around a center. To support and move the terminal effector there is a trolley mounted sliding along the rail. The activation of the latter is driven by a drive mechanism that includes a plurality of pulleys. A cable is mounted on the pulleys and at its ends the trolley is fixed. There is therefore an actuator configured to move the cable along the pulleys in order to move the trolley along this arched guide rail. TRL= 4.

Possible Applications

  • Medical field, used as a platform for targeted radiotherapy, X-rays with C-arm and/or surgical and neurosurgical applications.
  • Industrial field, used as a modular platform, for scanning, inspection and multi-axis assembly.


  • Miniature robotic mechanism with remote motion center and wide working range
  • Accurate spherical positioning of a terminal effector organ around the movement center of the mechanism
  • Programmable (e.g. for image-guided surgery)