A common problem in several surgical applications is the lack of navigational information. Most often, the only source of information about the location of crucial structures, in relation to the surgical instrument, is the visible and tactile sensory input of the surgeon. In some cases, this leads to time-consuming procedures and a high risk for the patient. Therefore, we developed a spectroscopic sensor system for automatic differentiation between several tissue types. For example in milling processes, a sensor that is able to detect bone in contrast to nerve or vein tissue can be used to control the milling process. We showed exemplarily for the cochlea implant, a typical ENT-surgery, that with the help of our sensor system, the milling of bone can be accelerated without increasing the risk for the patient. It is also possible to use this type of sensor system in the area of medical robotics in soft-tissue applications. With real-time information, a continuous registration can take place, in contrast to a registration that is done using static preoperatively acquired images. We showed that our sensor system can be used to dynamically update the location of the patient in relation to CT or MR-images. In conclusion, we have been able to show that well-known spectroscopy sensors can be used to open new possibilities in medical treatment with and without the use of robotics.