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 ")

Qbit Robot Bartender Also Makes Coffee
'...he sipped the cognac that the robot bartender handed him.' - Alfred Bester, 1956.

Out-Of-Work Blue Collar Robots Need Your Help
'His legs relaxed with a rattle as he cut off all power below his waist... and ran his eye down the Help Wanted - Robot column...' - Harry Harrison, 1956.

Massage Robot Has Soft Hands, Er, Pads
'The automatic massager began to fumble gently over my naked form.' - AE van Vogt, 1944

M-Blocks 2.0 Self-Assembling Robots
'Faster the cubes moved...' - Abraham Merritt, 1920.

 

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

Via Virtual Reality, Mother Encounters Deceased Daughter
'But that barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...'

Clothes That Do Photosynthesis
'Clothes are no longer made from dead fibers of fixed color and texture...'

Stratuscent Electronic Nose
'It's picking up diphenyl compounds and tetra hydrocarbons.'

CIMON Companion Robot For Space Station Astronauts
'... in some departments their power is absolute.'

Qbit Robot Bartender Also Makes Coffee
'...he sipped the cognac that the robot bartender handed him.'

Moving Desks Not SciFi After All
'Charged with hope, he zipped from stack to stack...'

Cruise Autonomous Car Drives Aimlessly For An Hour
Convincing video shows progress (and limitations).

Fast Charging A Bus In 20 Seconds
'... in almost every town and village.'

Realistic Translation With The Waverly Labs Ambassador
'The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.'

Biotech Firms Raised $Millions For Anti-Agathics (Longevity Drugs)
'Against Death doth no simple grow.'

Out-Of-Work Blue Collar Robots Need Your Help
'His legs relaxed with a rattle as he cut off all power below his waist... and ran his eye down the Help Wanted - Robot column...'

The Dawn Of Orbiting Manufacturing In 2020?
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories.'

Smart Contact Lenses Charges With 3D Printed Antenna
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens.'

Segway S-Pod Fulfills Dire 1928 SciFi Prophecy
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'

Physicist Inspired By SciFi And Seeing Back In Time
'Here is the chronoscope... Scansion depends upon a special curved field...'

Airbnb Has AI Psychiatrist Looking At Your Facebook
'It's illegal to hold back information during a psyche test.'

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.