Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Dr. T. Asokan
Professor, Department of Engineering Design
Surgical Robot Trainer
Surgical Robots are increasingly being used in India in recent years. However, the benefits of this technology are extremely limited at present, as this equipment is very expensive. Only a few medical institutions could afford to purchase the equipment. Consequently, the number of doctors who are trained in using this system is very few. Even at global level, there are very few companies that manufacture robots for surgeries.
IIT Madras Professor, aims to put Surgical Robots in every Medical College in India.
Viewing this as a serious lacunae, Prof. T. Asokan, Department of Engineering Design, IIT Madras, started a research project to create a Surgical Robot for Training purposes. The effort, launched in collaboration with a medical institution and an industry, both of which are based in Coimbatore, resulted in the successful development of a ‘Training Robot.’
Prof. Ramalingam (sitting) and Prof. Asokan (extreme right)
Prohibitive costs of surgical robots restrict their availability to only a few institutions and doctors who can afford them.
Surgical Robot Trainer By Dr. T. Asokan
Prof. Asokan speaking about his work says, “We have made a proof-of-concept prototype and demonstrated it successfully to a team from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, as well as to few Robotic Surgeons. We are now working on improving the design and making it more user-friendly. Few patents have already been filed".
The current design of the robot is aimed at abdominal surgeries. Hence, the IIT-M team worked with a team of urologists from PSG Medical college, Coimbatore, while designing it.
Explaining the economics of the project, he says a Robot used for surgery would cost anywhere between Rs. 12 crores ~ Rs. 15 crores.

The training robot created by IIT-M will be around Rs. 60 lakhs ~ 70 lakhs. The aim is to have at least one trainer robot in every medical college in India, explained Prof. Asokan.
Master Arm
“Furthermore, we’re looking for a partner from the Medical / Robotic Industry to convert this Training Robot for Surgeries into an actual robot that can perform surgeries by itself.
Even with this upgrade, the cost will be much lower than the existing models,” adds Prof. Asokan.
Prof. Asokan
Department of Engineering Design