Craniobot: A computer numerical controlled robot for cranial microsurgeries

Leila Ghanbari, Mathew L. Rynes, Jia Hu, Daniel S. Schulman, Gregory W. Johnson, Michael Laroque, Gabriella M. Shull, Suhasa Bangalore Kodandaramaiah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Over the last few decades, a plethora of tools has been developed for neuroscientists to interface with the brain. Implementing these tools requires precisely removing sections of the skull to access the brain. These delicate cranial microsurgical procedures need to be performed on the sub-millimeter thick bone without damaging the underlying tissue and therefore, require significant training. Automating some of these procedures would not only enable more precise microsurgical operations, but also facilitate widespread use of advanced neurotechnologies. Here, we introduce the “Craniobot”, a cranial microsurgery platform that combines automated skull surface profiling with a computer numerical controlled (CNC) milling machine to perform a variety of cranial microsurgical procedures on mice. The Craniobot utilizes a low-force contact sensor to profile the skull surface and uses this information to perform precise milling operations within minutes. We have used the Craniobot to perform intact skull thinning and open small to large craniotomies over the dorsal cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1023
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

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