Robotic surgery to happen in zero-gravity conditions


Researchers from SRI International and the University of Cincinnati will soon conduct the first robotic surgery in the history of mankind this month, in simulated zero gravity aboard a NASA C-9 aircraft that will take a route spanning 34,000 feet over the Gulf of Mexico. The NASA C-9 is also known as the “weightless wonder”, and will be able to simulate the microgravity that can be found in space as well as variable gravity of military critical critical care air transports – a feat achieved by performing 40 parabolas per flight that range between 18 to 25 seconds long each. Sounds like a pretty interesting place to get your face lift, eh? I suppose celebrities will probably be one of the first few customers to come knocking at the door when such operations are made commercial, while the rest of us ordinary plebeians will have to settle for a good diet and regular exercise in order to stave away the ravages of time on our appearance.

This zero gravity experiment will take into consideration the precision and speed where both human and robot surgeons will be able to cut and stitch an incision among other things. The SRI-developed software will also assist robot surgeons to compensate for “errors in movement” that is a very real possibility whether flying through space or over a battlefield in a medivac flights – something to be very afraid off if you’re one who treasures your beautiful face above all else. Such robots will be able to be controlled remotely from thousands of miles away, and should the system be available commercially, it will enable patient care to begin the moment the ambulance door is closed.

According to SRI’s Thomas Low, “In remote telesurgery, a surgeon controls a multi-armed robot located at the patient’s bedside from a distant location using a telecommunications network. This has the potential to provide emergency medical and surgical care to astronauts during space flights, soldiers injured in battle and patients living in remote regions on Earth where there are no physicians.”

Source: CNet News