Robots are investing more and more in our society. They have already proven themselves to be successful in various fields, especially in medicine. This robot surgeon developed in the United States is no exception to the rule, but what it is capable of doing is still a little scary.
The robot in question is called the Flex Robotic System and was invented by Howie Choset, a professor at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University (USA). The roboticist is also co-founder of Medrobotics, a company based in the state of Massachusetts whose specialty is the development and marketing of medical robots, including the Flex Robotic System.
The latter looks like a snake, because it is flexible, a characteristic that allows it to contort in order to enter, through the mouth, the body of the operated patient. The Flex Robotic System is also equipped with a high definition camera, allowing the human surgeon to guide his instruments remotely to the precise location requiring the medical intervention. Incredible isn’t it?
The Flex Robotic System project nevertheless dates from 2004 since the first prototypes were designed in collaboration with Marco Zenati, professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh, and Alon Wolf, who was at that time a post-doctoral fellow at the University Carnegie Mellon. With Howie Choset, they all three founded the Medrobotics company in 2005. This company has also raised more than 130 million dollars to finance the development of the Flex Robotic System, according to its CEO.
The robot surgeon was designed to perform a number of different procedures, such as the removal of cancerous tumors that would be inoperable by traditional means. Finally, we are likely to see the Flex Robotic System in hospitals in different countries soon enough. Indeed, the competent state bodies in the United States, Australia and Europe have given their agreement regarding the penetration of the robot through the patient’s mouth.
As soon as the authorization was obtained, Medrobotics asked for a second one which would give the robot the possibility of going through the colorectal route, ouch!
Sources: DailyMail – UberGizmo
Image credit: Medrobotics