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Professors Nabil Simaan (PI) and Professor Spiros Manolidis M.D. (Co-PI) received a 3-year NSF grant titled  “Study of Robot-Assisted Cochlear Implant Insertion and Active-Bending Electrode Arrays”. This $330,000 grant will support research on novel robotic-assisted surgical approaches to cochlear implant surgery. The project will focus on surgical assistance using steerable electrode arrays that were developed at ARMA laboratory. The project will study control strategies and path planning for these under-actuated electrodes, design and construction of robotic electrode insertion devices, and evaluation of intracochlear trauma during electrode insertion. The eventual goal of this project is a smart table-top tele-robotic system that will be used to evaluate the different electrode insertion strategies on the reduction of intracochlear trauma. .

This inter-disciplinary project is an ongoing collaboration between ARMA laboratory and Dr. Spiros Manolidis (an Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery and the Director of Otology & Skull Base Surgery at Columbia University). Dr. Manolidis is a Co-PI responsible for overseeing the clinical aspects of this project. In addition, Dr. John T. Roland of the department of Otolaryngology and Neurosurgery at New York University School of Medicine is serving as an additional clinical consultant for this project.

The preliminary work for this project was carried out at ARMA with the participation of Ph.D. students Jian Zhang and Kai Xu.