First Zero-Gravity Surgical Robot Demonstration

SRI International, a nonprofit R&D organization, will conduct the first demonstration of a teleoperated surgical robot in a zero-gravity environment this week.


(Telemedicine robot in NASA's NEEMO 9 Underwater Test)

The SRI robotic surgical system is designed to be stored in a very compact space for space travel. Astronauts will reassemble the device for use in the event of illness requiring surgical intervention. The system was successfully tested underwater in the Aquarius undersea laboratory (see photo) off the coast of Florida earlier this year. A Canadian surgeon successfully utilized the device to perform a vascular suturing operation from fifteen hundred miles away (see photo).


(Aquarius undersea lab 3.5 miles off Key Largo)

Now, however, SRI researchers are testing the device in the extreme environment of zero gravity. The tests will be done over a period of four days aboard a NASA C-9 aircraft. The plane undergoes a series of parabolic flight maneuvers that simulates, for a brief period, the microgravity environment of space.

“In previous experiments, SRI successfully demonstrated how robots can be manipulated remotely and set-up with minimal training. We are now extending that technology to movement and weightlessness, critical elements of any space travel program,” said Thomas Low, director of SRI’s Medical Devices and Robotics program.

SRI-developed software is intended to help the robot compensate for errors in movment that can occur in moments of turbulence or transitions in gravitational field strength. The experiment will compare the same surgical tasks performed by a physician who is physically present with those performed remotely using the teleoperated robot.

SRI is pioneering other remotely-operated surgical systems; they are working with DARPA on the Trauma Pod Battlefield Medical Treatment System; The trauma pod is used to treat soldiers on the battlefield using advanced diagnostics and teleoperated instruments.

Science fiction writers were arguably the first to imagine such things; the telemedicine apparatus from E.M. Forster's 1909 story The Machine Stops is a very early inspiration to real-life roboticists. More recently, science fiction writer Peter Watts vividly visualized a teleoperated medical mantis that could perform surgery deep beneath the sea's surface.

Via SRI press release.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/25/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.' - Harry Harrison, 1956.

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

Cassie 'Halfbot' Best Half (Lower) Of Humanoid Robot
We can always make it limp along if it gets threatening.

Autonomous Concrete Floor Finishing Robot
Keep those construction site robots coming.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'

SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'

Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'

Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

Seasteading Floating Cities
'It was a remarkable island, circular, about half a kilometer in diameter.'

Tesla Semi 'Electrotruck' Unveiled
Elon Musk unveils yet another technological marvel.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.