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Da Vinci Surgical Bot Folds, Throws Tiny Paper Airplane

Apparently, even surgeons aren’t immune from the tendency to take really fancy and expensive robots and use them to do silly things

1 min read
Da Vinci Surgical Bot Folds, Throws Tiny Paper Airplane

da vinci surgical robot

Everybody already thinks that robot surgeryis way cool, but I suppose there’s no harm in taking a few minutes to show off the precision that tiny little robot grippers are capable of. On the other end of these steely claws is an even steelier-eyed surgeon with a questionable amount of aeronautical experience, and in between the two is a da Vinci surgical system. This particular robot hails from Swedish Hospital in, you guessed it, Seattle.

The da Vinci system, if you recall, provides surgeons with an interface that allows them to control little robotic hands with their own (much larger) hands, enabling much finer control in a much tighter space. For patients, this means smaller incisions that heal faster, and for surgeons, it means no more going elbow deep into someone else’s guts.

I do feel obligated to point out that depending on your definition of robot, the da Vinci system may not qualify as one, in that it doesn’t have much of an autonomous component: all of those motions are controlled directly by the surgeon using a master/slave system. However, robots with actual autonomous surgical capabilities aren’t that far off, and now that we’ve seen demos of robots autonomously sucking your blood out and autonomously taking biopsies on simulated turkey prostates, it’s just a matter of time before you start having to choose your surgeon based on whether it’s running Windows or Linux.

[ Intuitive Surgical ] via [ Nerdist ]

The Conversation (0)

How Robots Can Help Us Act and Feel Younger

Toyota’s Gill Pratt on enhancing independence in old age

10 min read
An illustration of a woman making a salad with robotic arms around her holding vegetables and other salad ingredients.
Dan Page
Blue

By 2050, the global population aged 65 or more will be nearly double what it is today. The number of people over the age of 80 will triple, approaching half a billion. Supporting an aging population is a worldwide concern, but this demographic shift is especially pronounced in Japan, where more than a third of Japanese will be 65 or older by midcentury.

Toyota Research Institute (TRI), which was established by Toyota Motor Corp. in 2015 to explore autonomous cars, robotics, and “human amplification technologies,” has also been focusing a significant portion of its research on ways to help older people maintain their health, happiness, and independence as long as possible. While an important goal in itself, improving self-sufficiency for the elderly also reduces the amount of support they need from society more broadly. And without technological help, sustaining this population in an effective and dignified manner will grow increasingly difficult—first in Japan, but globally soon after.

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