A robot has reconnected two ends of an intestine through laparoscopic surgery: one of the most challenging and delicate tasks. The slightest unintentional movements can be devastating for a patient. Surgical robots have yielded more accurate and precise results, eliminating the possibility for human error.
The Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) can plan, adapt, and execute soft-tissue surgery. It is equipped with specialized suturing tools, adaptive control, and a vision-guided system. A structural light-based three-dimensional endoscope and a learning-based tracking algorithm give the robot an enhanced view of the surgical field and the information it needs to perform safer surgeries.
"The STAR performed the procedure in four animals and it produced significantly better results than humans performing the same procedure," said Axel Krieger, senior author and assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins' Whiting School of Engineering.
Robots executing surgery with superior and more consistent results than surgeons is ground-breaking in the healthcare industry. With large-scale implementation, this equalizes access to high-quality surgical care with remarkably lower risks.