A robot successfully carries out keyhole surgery on a pig

Keyhole surgery successfully carried out by a robot, on a pig, could lead to fully automated operations on humans

According to a new study, an operation involving keyhole surgery has been successfully carried out on a pig, by a robot. The procedure was conducted for the very first time without the help of a human hand to guide the robot.
This precision laparoscopic surgery, involved connecting the two ends of an intestine. It was completed by the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (Star). The success has led researchers to laud this as a significant move towards the eventual process of fully automated robots carrying out operations on humans.
According to the study, published in Science Robotics, and conducted by Johns Hopkins University, the robot excelled at the procedure which requires a high level of precision and repetitive movements. Dr Axel Krieger, the senior author of the study is a professor of electrical and computer engineering, and helped to create the robot.
“Our findings show that we can automate one of the most intricate and delicate tasks in surgery: the reconnection of two ends of an intestine”, said Dr Krieger. Adding, “The Star performed the procedure in four animals, and it produced significantly better results than humans performing the same procedure”.
Dr Krieger developed Star with colleagues at the Children’s National Hospital in Washington DC and Jin Kang. It is a vision-guided system designed specifically to suture soft tissue. He explained, “What makes the Star special is that it is the first robotic system to plan, adapt, and execute a surgical plan in soft tissue with minimal human intervention”.
“Robotic anastomosis is one way to ensure that surgical tasks that require high precision and repeatability can be performed with more accuracy and precision in every patient independent of surgeon skill”.
“We hypothesise that this will result in a democratised surgical approach to patient care with more predictable and consistent patient outcomes”, the doctor added, as reported by metro.co.uk.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]