May 5, 2016

An Autonomous Robot Surgeon Just Beat A Human Surgeon At Their Job

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI

Autonomous robot surgeon prototype stitches pigs’ colons better than human and human-assisted robot surgeons:

In his proof-of-concept study, the STAR system stitched together two parts of a pig’s colon. The researchers likened this task to reconnecting a cut garden hose—and just like the hose, if the stitching is done imperfectly, the colon can be prone to leaks that can be life-threatening. Using the vision system and a pressure sensor at the end of the robotic arm, the STAR tool automatically placed sutures in the tissue to reconnect it, both in tissue in the lab and inside living pigs. The researchers then compared the STAR’s performance to that of a surgeon performing the same task with a laparoscopic tool as well as a robot-assisted surgery in which the surgeon controls the robot.

Comparing the uniformity of the sutures, number of mistakes and the highest pressure that the tissue could withstand without leaking, the STAR system performed better than the human and the human-directed robot. None of the living pigs had any complications from the operations.

Welcome to the age of autonomous surgery.

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