Robotic Microsurgery Instrument Goes Anywhere
A robotic microsurgery instrument that combines tiny robotic hands as well as a connected fiber optic camera was recently demonstrated in a TED talk by surgeon Catherine Mohr. It's the next generation of the well-known da Vinci robotic surgical system.
The device enters the body through an extremely compact tube. Once inside the body, the instruments are extruded and then they fully articulate to allow the surgeon to perform necessary tasks.
As far as I know, the earliest reference to the idea of a true microsurgical instrument occurs in the 1939 short story Massons's Secret by Raymond Z. Gallun.
In his slender hands he held a surgical instrument he had invented. It was a marvel! There was a long steel arm or standard that could be clamped on the end of an operating table. At the end of the arm was a binocular microscope. Beneath the latter were hundreds of screw buttons. And gathered right where the microscope was focused - where a needle-point beam of intense light could be projected for illumination - there was a ring of tiny metal prongs. You turned the screws below and the prongs moved - any or all of them - in any plane or direction you could mention, and with caliper slowness, minuteness and precision. At the end of each prong was a surgical tool - blades, tweezers, probes - so fine you could just see them with the naked eye.
(Read more about Gallun's micro-surgery instrument)
As far as I can tell by looking at the medical literature in PubMed, the word "micro-surgery" was first published in 1938 in reference to using a microscope while performing a glaucoma procedure. No special instrumentation was mentioned; the prefix "micro" referred to the use of microscopy while performing surgery.
I also wanted to mention that Robert Heinlein thought of the idea of a tiny miniature hand with a microscopic eye that was created by genetic manipulation in his 1941 novel Methuselah's Children".
"...Take that extra appendage at the wrist. That's another hand, a miniature one... backed up by a microscopic eye. You can see how useful that would be, once you get used to the idea..."
Heinlein also wrote about the idea of Ultramicrominiature Waldoes for use in surgery in Time Enough For Love (1973).
Philip K. Dick was also fascinated by the idea of robotic hands for surgeons. See the references for Robot Surgeon-Hand in his 1955 short story War Veteran as well as the Interchangeable Hands in his 1965 novel The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.
Take a look at the entire TED talk by Dr. Mohr on micro-surgical robots as well; the microsurgery material begins at about 7 minutes into the presentation.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/29/2009)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )
Related News Stories -
tDCS Jumpstarts Your Future
'We invented a scanner that can change the labyrinthine neural connections of the brain by tiny electronic impulses…'- Edmond Hamilton, 1948.
RealView Interactive Live Medical Holography
Surgeons can see an organ in its entirety in a live image.
Child Trafficked To Britain By Organleggers
'The doctor took him apart with exquisite care, like disassembling a flexible, fragile, tremendously complex jigsaw puzzle.'- Larry Niven, 1967.
Google Vs. Death
Who wants to live forever?
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.
Haute Cuisine On International Space Station
'The gas gave sufficient heat for the culinary apparatus...'
Tongue Mouse Created By Valve Engineer
'He pressed hard with his tongue against his right upper first molar.'
K5 Autonomous Data Machine The Future Of Mall Security
''Halt!' A robot guard appeared...'
RF Safe-Stop Shuts Cars Off
'...a police control-override.'
Army's New Bird-Like Surveillance UAV
'The prototype blue-bellied, gray-backed tracer-bird with the wide-angle eye...'
Honda's Tumblebug - The UNI-CUB beta
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity...'
NASA's LADEE Enters Lunar Orbit
'... dust normally on the surface picks up and keeps a charge.'
3D Printing An Entire Car
"... Almost as good as the original it was printed from."
Aldebaran Robot Talks Like C3PO - Almost
'See Vee Threepio - Vee for versatility - at your service...'
Google's Skin Tattoo Lie Detector
'Three and a half centimetres in diameter, permanently fixed in the centre of his forehead.'
inFORM Dynamic Shape Output Device
Like that pushpin device you remember, but supercharged.
Owlet Vitals, The Future Of Baby Monitoring
'In every diaper there is a fine copper wire...'
Robert Heinlein, Your Personal Electric Helicopter Will Be Ready In 2016
"They were half way home when a single flyer, hopping free in a copter harness, approached the little parade."
WildCat Runs Faster Than You, Untethered
'...moving with such drifting ease that it was like a single solid cloud of black-grey smoke blown at him in silence.' Almost.
HiBot's ACM-R5H Robot Video Shows Graceful Terminator-Style Swimming
'No! No! Aaaaaaarrrrrrgh!'
tDCS Jumpstarts Your Future
'We invented a scanner that can change the labyrinthine neural connections of the brain by tiny electronic impulses...'.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories