Robot Surgeons are Coming Soon to a Hospital near You.
Study found they outperformed surgeons when stitching pig intestines back together.
A surgical robot outperformed human surgeons in stitching the small intestines of pigs back together, researchers report.
Without any direct human interaction, the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) reconnected the intestines with sutures that proved more accurate, evenly spaced and durable than those created by human hands, the machine’s developers said.
The test shows it’s possible to create a smart robot that will be able to perform an entire surgical procedure on its own, much as robot technology is now used to assemble complex machinery or safely steer airplanes and automobiles, said senior researcher Dr. Peter C.W. Kim.
“Our hypothesis is you should be able to eventually program the entire surgical procedure beginning-to-end, intelligently and autonomously,” said Kim, who is a pediatric surgeon and vice president of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System, in Washington, D.C.