Video of the week: STAR, the first autonomous surgical robot

With gestures of an accuracy of the order of a few hundredths of a millimetre, a ‘classical’ industrial robot is more accurate than the best surgeons in the world. Remains to teach him the surgical management, a colossal challenge for the roboticists. This is the reason why a surgical robot like the American ‘Da Vinci’ is that repeat the actions carried out by surgeons who have control of his instruments. Robot french Medtech Rosa for his part performs a surgical extremely accurate but limited. With the STAR project, is the software that now runs the operation.

A robot capable of suturing soft tissue with unmatched precision

Led by researchers from the laboratory of innovation in Pediatric Surgery of Sheikh Zayed Institute in Washington and the computer science Department at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the STAR (for Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot) project seeks to give the intelligence necessary for a robot to carry out independently some phases of a surgical operation.

STAR-robot

The STAR (for Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot) robot in a demonstration that will remain in the annals of surgical robotics.

Equipped with cameras, a type robot Kuka Robotics $LWR – 4 + has proved capable of sutures on very fragile deemed soft tissue. This industrial robot offers 7 degrees of freedom and especially a precision of 0.05 mm. View Plenoptic in 3 dimensions in the near-infrared allows the software of the robot to clearly identify the operative field and very precisely position sutures despite deformations and the constant movement of the body. Although it is still only a very limited procedure, this demonstration demonstrate to those who doubted that room if operation of tomorrow will be populated by robots. The surgeon of the future will be more a conductor as a virtuoso of the scalpel.

Translation : Bing Translator

Sources :

“Autonomous Robot Surgeon Bests Humans in World First”, IEEE Spectrum, May 4, 2016

“A robot surgeon has passed a major milestone — sewing up pig guts”, The Verge, May 4, 2016

“Supervised autonomous robotic soft tissue surgery”, Science Translational Medicine, May 4, 2016

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