A team of researchers and surgeons working with the Columbia University and the Vanderbilt University now claim that they have succeeded in designing and manufacturing a robot that can make modern laparoscopic surgeries significantly less intrusive.
Thus, their robot is supposedly capable of entering the human body either through one single opening of just 13 millimeters, or through a natural opening such as the mouth.
Once there, it begins to “stretch” and unfold, Scientific American
explains. By means of a camera, surgeons can keep track of what the robot is doing inside the patient's body.
Naturally, the robot will not simply be allowed to handle business all by itself: surgeons will constantly monitor it and “feed” it instructions.
According to the same source, this new technology is to be tested on animals during the coming months.
Should things go as planned, the Insertable Robotic Effector Platform could be used to treat human patients within five years' time.
The specialists who have worked on this project explain that this robot can potentially be used to perform appendectomies, hysterectomies, ear and throat surgery and certain types of kidney surgery.