MRI scanners are essential for accurate detection and location of abnormal tissue, but this accuracy cannot be fully exploited as long as needles are controlled by hand. Robots have been developed to perform biopsies, but those made of metal cannot be deployed within the strong magnetic fields of MRI scanners.
A miniature robot was engineered in the Netherlands to conduct breast cancer biopsies within the MRI environment. Stormram 4 is made from 3-D-printed plastic and is driven by rectilinear and curved air-pressure pneumatic stepper motors. The robot is externally controlled by means of 5-m-long air pipes.
Stormram 4 was developed by engineers from the University of Twente and Ziekenhuis Groep Twente.