Robotic telesurgery

Shane Farritor and Dmitry Oleynikov, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, have designed two tiny camera-carrying robots that can be inserted into the abdomen for remote laparoscopic surgeries.


The cylindrical robots are three inches and can be pushed into the body through 15-mm-wide holes.

The team currently has two models. The first is a pan-and-tilt camera that sits in the abdomen and gives the surgeons greater visibility. The second model also carries a camera, but is mobile and can explore areas typically inaccessible to normal laparoscopic cameras.

Surgeons can control the devices by radio, “If there were a car accident in the boondocks, first responders could make an incision, drop a device in, and a surgeon in a hospital somewhere could control it,” Platt said. “They can be used anywhere a surgeon isn’t available and you need someone more highly trained.”

The U.S. Army offered the team a grant to continue developing the robots.

“You could provide surgical access right on the battlefield,” Farritor said. “A medic could carry a few devices around and insert them into injured soldiers, and a surgeon up at UNMC could perform the surgery.”

The devices have been successful in tests on pigs, and the researchers hopes they could be used in humans in about a year or two.

Via Mobile Robotics < Daily Nebraskan.