Robots made another decisive step to acquire their own autonomy in surgery, hoping to steal some of the glory of autonomous vehicles of Google.
For the first time, an autonomous robot-under the simple oversight and not guiding of a doctor-did successfully a surgery in soft tissues.
The robot succeeded better both by experienced surgeons, as well as existing today robot assisted surgery. The test involved bowel surgery on live pigs. The robots cut and stitched back the gut with great accuracy.
Researchers at the Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation Sheikh Zayed (founded in 2010 with a donation from the Government of Abu Dhabi) and the Department of Computer Science of the University of Johns Hopkins, USA, headed by Azad Seintman, did the relevant publication in the medical journal “Science Translational Medicine“.
Today the robotic surgery is based on a surgeon who directs the robot manually and the outcome of the surgery depends heavily on the education and experience of the doctor. Until now many advances in autonomous robotic surgery were made, only for interventions in hard tissues, like bones. Now, for the first time, became something similar and in soft tissues including tendons, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, skin, adipose tissue, etc.
The researchers estimated that the autonomous robotic surgeon STAR can work in hospitals within the next two years.
The aim of the researchers is gradually making autonomous robotic surgeons, considering that the human factor, in the future will reduce the chance of error. The robot will make their own surgery and doctors will simply monitor, intervening only where necessary. Whether people would trust the robotic surgical arms.