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 ")

When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...' - Frederik Pohl, 1954.

Robot Strolls Field, Examines EVERY Plant
'The great machines that did the work ... required but a few dozen men to cultivate an entire county.' - John W. Campbell

TITAN-III Spider Robot Is WAY Too Quick (Video)
'My little friends can find you wherever you go!' - Michael Crichton, 1984.

Bill Gates Suggests Tax On Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot that 'appears or pretends to be human' had to be compensated...'- John Twelve Hawks, 2014.

 

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

Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'

When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'

LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'

Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'

Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'

Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'

The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'

Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'

Robot Strolls Field, Examines EVERY Plant
'The great machines that did the work ... required but a few dozen men to cultivate an entire county.'

Sweden Outlaws Drones
'An eye that could not only see, but fly, roam, travel at speeds and in directions to suit its operator...'

Wear Your Self-Powered Generator
'It's basically a micro-sandwich...'

TITAN-III Spider Robot Is WAY Too Quick (Video)
'My little friends can find you wherever you go!'

Bill Gates Suggests Tax On Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot that 'appears or pretends to be human' had to be compensated...'

Handle, New Wheeled Hopping Robot
'the hopper sprang thirty feet into the air...'

Matrix Sentinel Ancestor, The Pipe Inspector Robot From Krakow
Watch out, Keanu!

Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...'

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.