Robots are now part of our lives and it looks like they are there to stay. We use robots for everything now, from our banking to our online shopping and food delivery. The medical field has also had its share of robotic advancement in the past decades thanks to robots that can help place screws in a patient’s spine or participate in hip replacement surgery. Now, a new robot is making its entrance in a brand new medical field and one of the fields that require the most precision and the greatest care. This new robot can reportedly do a complex two hour brain surgery in no more than 2 minutes and a half!
- The robot in question was created by a team of researchers at the University of Utah who were trying to find an alternative brain surgery method that would save time, cost and most importantly reduce the human error factor that is extremely relevant in this field of medical practice. The robot that was built as a result of this endeavor achieved excellent results. It reduced open wound and anaesthesia duration which in turn reduce the risk of infections and complications respectively likely with each of those risks. It also completed the surgery 50 times faster than a human surgeon would.
- The machine was initially tested on plastic blocks then on human cadavers. It works by reading a previously acquired CT scan of the brain then using that collected information to render a safe path through the relevant area. As an ultimate security measure, some safeguards have also been added which will for example cause an immediate shutdown of the robot should it get too close to a major vein or an important nerve ending.
The team reports that the robot will now be commercialized and sold for under 100,000 dollars. It will not only be very helpful to brain surgery departments everywhere, but the team also mentioned that it can be used for different procedures such as complex operations on the spine or the skull or even for educational purposes.