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Hop's Blog

Surgical Robots

29 Dec 2013, 05:05 UTC
Surgical Robots
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At the Leprecon 39 Science Fiction Convention I attended a talk by Dr. Bruce Davis, a general/trauma surgeon in the Phoenix area.Dr. Davis has done many laparoscopic surgeries using the da Vinci robot. Instead of opening up a patient's belly, a small incision is made. A pair of robotic arms as well as a binocular pair of cameras are inserted through a small opening.Davis reports that the two cameras give good depth perception. The telepresence is so immersive he often forgets he's not physically present inside the patient's body. He finds himself trying to turn his head to look about the cavity. Davis expects the robots will soon have motion capture for the head and neck so the camera motion will mimic the motion of the surgeon's actual eyes.The arms are operated by motion capture. Robotic wrists mimic the motion of the surgeon's wrists. Instead of a thumb and four fingers, the robotic hand looks more like a crab's pinchers. The surgeon moves these pinchers with his thumb and index finger. Still, a lot can be accomplished with this simple hand.The cameras give up to 10X magnification. When higher magnification is invoked, the motion of the robotic hands become more ...

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