In Flesh-Cutting Task, Autonomous Robot Surgeon Beats Human Surgeons
Imagine that you’re on the operating table, waiting for surgeons to cut a tumor out of your flesh. You want their cuts to be as precise and accurate as possible, leaving behind no tumor fragments that might cause the cancer to recur, yet also not removing too much healthy tissue.
Rather than an expert human surgeon, you might want the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) hovering over you. In a recent set of experiments, STAR’s inventors showed that it makes more precise cuts than expert surgeons, and damages less of the surrounding flesh. The researchers presented their results at the recent robotics conference IROS 2017.
“I really believe that this is the future of surgery,” says study coauthor Axel Krieger, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland.