Cutting edge: the rise of surgical robots

Advances in robotics are helping surgeons perform a variety of increasingly complex procedures


The da Vinci machine: Intuitive Surgical’s device is operated by a human surgeon who uses a videoequipped workstation to control four tool-tipped arms

Of all the amazing innovations taking place in healthcare, the use of robots in surgery is perhaps the closest to science fiction. For some it might conjure up images of the gleaming medical android that mended Luke Skywalker’s shattered face in The Empire Strikes Back; however, for many people, it’s an extremely disquieting concept. Submitting yourself to surgery is perhaps the ultimate loss of control and the thought of losing control to a machine, rather than a human, is a difficult step.

However, the object of robot surgery is in fact the exact opposite of surrendering to a machine, as the concept aims to restore control of the surgery to a human surgeon by playing to the strengths of both human and robot.

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engineering precision


November 16, 2010



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