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Design and performance study of an orthopaedic surgery robotized module for automatic bone drilling




Many orthopaedic operations involve drilling and tapping before the insertion of screws into a bone. This drilling is usually performed manually, thus introducing many problems. These include attaining a specific drilling accuracy, preventing blood vessels from breaking, and minimizing drill oscillations that would widen the hole. Bone overheating is the most important problem. To avoid such problems and reduce the subjective factor, automated drilling is recommended.


Because numerous parameters influence the drilling process, this study examined some experimental methods. These concerned the experimental identification of technical drilling parameters, including the bone resistance force and temperature in the drilling process. During the drilling process, the following parameters were monitored: time, linear velocity, angular velocity, resistance force, penetration depth, and temperature.


Specific drilling effects were revealed during the experiments. The accuracy was improved at the starting point of the drilling, and the error for the entire process was less than 0.2 mm. The temperature deviations were kept within tolerable limits. The results of various experiments with different drilling velocities, drill bit diameters, and penetration depths are presented in tables, as well as the curves of the resistance force and temperature with respect to time. Real-time digital indications of the progress of the drilling process are shown.


Automatic bone drilling could entirely solve the problems that usually arise during manual drilling. An experimental setup was designed to identify bone drilling parameters such as the resistance force arising from variable bone density, appropriate mechanical drilling torque, linear speed of the drill, and electromechanical characteristics of the motors, drives, and corresponding controllers. Automatic drilling guarantees greater safety for the patient. Moreover, the robot presented is user-friendly because it is simple to set robot tasks, and process data are collected in real time. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.