Israeli Team Develops Robot Helps to Save Lives

Our guest blogger, Tamara Warta, lives with her husband in Sacramento where she works as a writer and a director of a Christian dance company. Her work can be seen in several publications and websites such as,, and She wanted to share international invention stories with the readers of

Here's her article:

* * * * *

Medical professionals the world over are always looking for new ways to improve the quality of the services they provide for countless patients each year. While some look for solutions in test tubes, one team in Israel instead turned to computer technology.

Leo Joskowicz, a scientist and professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has developed a special robot able to assist surgeons with the positioning of needles and other medical tools during procedures.

Recently honored with a Kaye Innovation Award, Joskowicz teaches engineering and computer science. He is also the founder and director of the Computer-Aided Surgery and Medical Image Procession Laboratory.

So what does this all mean? In short, Joskowicz has developed a very small robot that is able to be programmed with extremely specific information derived from the scans of a patient's body. During surgery, this doctor's helper is fastened to the patient's skull. From there, it is able to navigate itself with near-perfect accuracy and lock itself into a designated location. Once this has happened, it can guide the surgeon through needle, catheter, or probe insertion.

With the help of a few of his doctoral students and colleagues, Joskowicz has given a huge contribution to the medical world. Especially in the realm of neurosurgery, doctors have come a long way in their ability to heal and repair certain areas of the brain. However some openings that must be accessed are too small for the naked eye to make an accurate entry point. If a surgical tool is misplaced, the brain may start hemorrhaging or permanent brain damage can occur.

Now that the robot is designed with its image-guided system, surgeons are able to remain non-invasive while carrying out successful surgeries. Patients' pain is now much more minimal and chances for full recovery are likelier than ever.

The robot was developed over a two-year period through funding from the Israel Ministry of Trade and Industry. Thanks to Joskowicz and his team, people all over the world have a second chance at life.

Tamara Warta
Guest Blogger