NexGen Robot Surgeons Can Operate Without Human Assistance

Robot-surgeons-feat Bioengineers at Duke University announced yesterday that they've created Biopsy Bot, a robot that can "locate a man-made, or phantom, lesion in simulated human organs, guide a device to the lesion and take multiple samples during a single session," all without a doctor's supervision. Researchers hope these developments could one day lead to robots working autonomously on basic surgical operations. So far, the robotic surgical assistant has been 93% effective in its most recent tests.

The robot relies on 3-D and ultrasound technology for its movement. The ultrasound scans serve as the robot's "eyes," enabling the doc' bot to locate its target. With advanced artificial technology, the robot processes the 3-D data and sends out specific commands to its mechanical "arm" and "hand," devices that examine lesions and are able to take sample.

“One of the beauties of this system is that all of the hardware components are already on the market,” said the team's leader, professor Stephen Smith. “We believe that this is the first step in showing that with some modifications, systems like this can be built without having to develop a new technology from scratch.”

Casey Kazan via Duke University

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