Small robots designed by University of Nebraska researchers (see previous post) may allow doctors on Earth to do surgery on patients in space. The tiny, wheeled robots, which are as wide as a lipstick case, can be slipped into small incisions and computer-controlled by surgeons.
Some robots are equipped with cameras and lights and can send back views of affected areas to surgeons. Others have surgical tools attached that can maneuver inside the body. Because several robots can be inserted through one incision, they could reduce the amount and size of cuts needed for surgery.
The robots may be also helpful on battlefields as they could enable surgeons in other places to work on injured soldiers on the front line.
A robot capable of doing biopsies is in the works and another is being designed that can be inserted into a person’s stomach via the esophagus.