Development of a Pneumatic Robot for MRI-guided Transperineal Prostate Biopsy and Brachytherapy: New Approaches.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) guided prostate biopsy and brachytherapy has been introduced in order to enhance the cancer detection and treatment. For the accurate needle positioning, a number of robotic assistants have been developed. However, problems exist due to the strong magnetic field and limited workspace. Pneumatically actuated robots have shown the minimum distraction in the environment but the confined workspace limits optimal robot design and thus controllability is often poor. To overcome the problem, a simple external damping mechanism using timing belts was sought and a 1-DOF mechanism test result indicated sufficient positioning accuracy. Based on the damping mechanism and modular system design approach, a new workspace-optimized 4-DOF parallel robot was developed for the MRI-guided prostate biopsy and brachytherapy. A preliminary evaluation of the robot was conducted using previously developed pneumatic controller and satisfying results were obtained.