The challenges that the ROBOCAST project must face are numerous. Up to now many robotic systems, usually tele-controlled, have not been accepted in the operating rooms. The reasons are that they did not gave enough advantages to the users with respect to the inherent disadvantages. These were mainly the high cost, the long time required for setting up, the huge size and the poor integration within the standard instrumentation present in the operating room.
The biggest challenge of ROBOCAST project is thus to be accepted in the operating room and to give to the surgeon a high valuable reward for its acceptance. A few new ideas that will be developed, implemented and tested worth to be mentioned here. A small versatile robot will be used thanks to a closed loop control based on a multi-sensor (optical and electromagnetic) information gathering about its position in space. Thanks to a strong interaction with end users (which are part of the consortium) information provided by the ROBOCAST system will be integrated with the others already available in an operating room. Current planning of the path of surgical instruments will be executed by an intelligent planner based on surgeon experience and on modern medical images. This will dramatically save operators time and reduce possible errors in planning. A new biomimetic surgical instrument will be tested. It will be able to travel along completely arbitrary paths inside the brain reducing the possible damage to neural tissue.