Skip to main content

18 July 2023

New study finds device-mimicking controller best approach for neuroradiology procedures

Researchers from the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences, King’s College London, have found that a device-mimicking robotic controller is better suited for controlling interventional neuroradiology robotic procedures than joystick controls.

woman in lab coat and office setting wearing VR headset and holding controllers

Interventional radiology refers to minimally invasive, image-guided medical treatments. The use of robotics for these procedures is growing rapidly. Typically, robots in interventional neuroradiology are controlled using joystick movements. A device-mimicking robotic controller directly copies the operator’s movements and allows for a better performance.

As part of the study, researchers developed a simulation of vessels, catheters, and guidewires, along with a bespoke controller to operate the system. They then examined nine participants who performed a navigation task on the simulator with three different human-computer interfaces.

Navigation times, incorrect catheter placements, and number of prolapses, all showed that a device-mimicking controller is the better approach. The study also found that interventional radiologists prefer a device-mimicking controller over a joystick.

Whilst this is an intuitive result, robots in interventional radiology are typically controlled using button presses and joystick movements, so the findings may change the direction of robotic development in this emerging field.

Dr Thomas Booth, Reader in Neuroimaging, School of biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences

There is a lack of interventional neuroradiologists across the UK and globally, in the UK alone around 6000 patients per year are unable to access the most beneficial stroke care. This paper is the first steps towards developing tele-operated robotic solutions to help give patients access to the care they need.

Benjamin Jackson, PhD Candidate, Cancer Imaging


Read the full paper, Comparative Verification of Control Methodology for Robotic Interventional Neuroradiology Procedures, published in the International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery.

In this story

Thomas  Booth

Reader in Neuroimaging