Kinematic design and optimization of a novel dual-orthogonal remote center-of-motion mechanism for craniotomy

Gao Kuei Li, Terence Essomba, Chieh Tsai Wu, Shih Tseng Lee, Chin Hsing Kuo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

12 Scopus citations


Craniotomy is an essential neurosurgical procedure to remove a section of patient's skull. In order to do this, the surgical tools need to execute a one-degree-of-freedom skull drilling followed by a two-degrees-of-freedom skull cutting. Particularly, this two-degrees-of-freedom skull cutting motion can be treated as a pivot rotation ideally. Therefore, the craniotomy tool motion is equivalent to a remote center-of-motion (RCM), which is renowned in surgical robotics. In this paper, we proposed a novel hybrid RCM mechanism for robotic craniotomy. The mechanism is made of two orthogonal parallelogram-based linkages, which make the two rotational degrees-of-freedom decoupled. We also studied the position and differential kinematics of this new architecture and analyzed its potential singular configurations. We then set the local and global kinematic performance indices for obtaining the optimal mechanism dimensions. Finally, according to the optimization result, we created a mechanical prototype to verify the motion of the designed mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1145
Number of pages17
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - 01 03 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


  • Robotic craniotomy
  • remote center-of-motion
  • rotational parallel manipulator
  • surgical instrument
  • surgical robot


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