Robot Performs Surgery Without Humans Assistance.

Without the assistance of humans, a robot operated on a pig. The machine successfully performed keyhole surgery on a pig and was able to attach organs to a wide range of animals.

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For the first time, it did so without the assistance of a person. Scientists anticipate that similar robotic devices can help bring totally automated human operations to reality.

In four animals, the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (Star) performed the delicate keyhole – laparoscopic – surgery that entailed joining two ends of an intestine.

The robot excelled at the technique, which demands a high level of precision and repetitive movements, according to the study.

According to senior author Dr. Axel Krieger of Johns Hopkins University, the technique was the first time a robot performed a laparoscopic surgery without the assistance of a human.

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Experts claim that connecting two ends of an intestine is the most difficult phase in gastrointestinal surgery because it requires a surgeon to put stitches – or sutures – with extreme precision and consistency.

Even the tiniest hand tremor or missing stitch might cause a leak, which can lead to serious difficulties for the patient.

Even the tiniest hand tremor or missing stitch might cause a leak, which can lead to serious difficulties for the patient.

“Our findings show that we can automate one of the most difficult and delicate operations in surgery: the reconnection of two ends of an intestine,” said Dr. Krieger, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins’ Whiting School of Engineering.

“The Star performed the treatment on four animals, and the outcomes were substantially better than when the identical procedure was performed on humans.”

The study describes a revolutionary control system in the Star that allows it to change the surgical plan in real time, just like a human surgeon.

“What makes the Star unique is that it is the first robotic system to design, modify, and execute a soft tissue surgical plan with minimum human interaction,” Dr. Krieger stated.

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“Robotic anastomosis (connecting two structures surgically) is one technique to ensure that surgical operations requiring high precision and repeatability may be accomplished with greater accuracy and precision in every patient, regardless of surgeon expertise,” he continued.

“We believe this will lead to a more democratized surgical approach to patient care, with more predictable and consistent patient results,” says the team.

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