Researchers at Johns Hopkins University made a scientific breakthrough: a robot that can perform laparoscopic surgery on a pig without human help.
The Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot, or STAR, excelled at intestinal surgery, which required high levels of repetitive motion and precision to connect two ends of an intestine, in addition to suturing with high accuracy.
“Our findings show that we can automate one of the most intricate and delicate tasks in surgery: the reconnection of two ends of an intestine,” Axel Krieger, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering, said in a statement Tuesday. “The STAR performed the procedure in four animals and it produced significantly better results than humans performing the same procedure.”
What makes STAR unique is that it has a novel control system that can adjust the surgical plan in real-time, just like human surgeons.
“It’s almost like the human and machine have become one,” said Dr. Rodolfo Oviedo, the director of Robotic Surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital.
Oviedo told Anadolu Agency that the STAR surgery is impressive and he believes that this type of autonomous surgery will remove human imperfections from a procedure, such as hand tremors, hesitancy, doubt and fear.
“If a robot like this is able to perform such a delicate task without the assistance from a human, then this is just the beginning of a path where we will see fully autonomous robots with artificial intelligence performing all of the tasks of a complex operation with more precision than a human,” said Oviedo.
He expressed pride, excitement and scientific inspiration about the STAR surgery and said it is just the beginning of complete operations performed by robots.
“This is the future of surgeries. We’re living in the robotic revolution,” he added.
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