Design and preliminary development of a conceptual robot mechanism for eye surgery

  • Yinglun Jian

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Millions of patients suffering from eye disease cannot receive timely treatment due to alack of qualified surgeons. Medical robots which have the potential to solve this problem are attracting significant attention in the research community. Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is a popular surgical technique because of the advantages of small scars, little blood loss and pain, low risk of infection, short hospitalisation, and rapid recovery. However, successful MIS robots are scarce, and more research is required to develop low-cost surgical robots. This thesis designs and preliminarily develops a conceptual MIS robot mechanism as the slave robot of a master-slave robotic system for eye surgery with high accuracy and precision, high stiffness, good dexterity, small size, and low cost. Through thorough analysis of manual operations and interviews with surgeons, the design requirements are defined. Based on these requirements, a new parallel remote centre of motion (RCM) mechanism is created to achieve 7-degree-of-freedom(DOF) motions. Kinematic design of the new RCM mechanism is conducted. Using this new RCM mechanism, a detailed design of the robot is carried out and a prototype is built. The robot control strategy is developed, and the procedure for robot-assisted surgical operation using the constructed prototype is planned.

Experiments are conducted using the prototype to validate the robot design and evaluate the robot performance. Results show that the robot can meet the 7-DOF motion range requirements and stiffness requirements, though the accuracy still needs further improvements. A self-critique is conducted to identify the limitations, and possible solutions to address these limitations are presented. To improve the accuracy and precision and reduce the weight, three new design concepts are proposed. Future research directions include improvement in accuracy and precision and development of the master-slave robotic system.

Thesis is embargoed is 31 July 2028.

Date of AwardJul 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SponsorsQueen's University Belfast & Cathedral Eye Clinic
SupervisorYan Jin (Supervisor) & Mark Price (Supervisor)


  • Eye surgery robot
  • RCM mechanism
  • MIS robot
  • parallel robot

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