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Robot Surgeons

Kaicheng Liang, a recent graduate who worked on the biopsy robot (photo courtesy of Duke P...

A robot guided by 3-D ultrasound and artificial intelligence has demonstrated it can locate lesions in simulated breast and prostate tissue and take biopsies without human assistance. A team of bioengineers at Duke University, North Carolina, 'souped up' an existing robot arm with a purpose-built ultrasound system which acts as the robot's 'eyes' by collecting data from its scan and locating its target. An artificial intelligence program processes the real-time 3D information from the ultrasound and gives the robot specific commands to perform using a mechanical 'hand' that can manipulate the same biopsy plunger device used by doctors.  Read More

Assistive robotic surgical systems like the da Vinci System pictured here could soon be op...

Stopping a heart from beating during surgery is a complicated and risky procedure. Robotic technology that predicts the movement of the heart as it beats, thereby enabling surgical tools to move in concert with each beat, could help cut the risks of such surgery by allowing surgeons to operate on a beating heart as if it were stationary.  Read More

Research team member A. J. Rogers with the shrapnel-finding surgical robot

Bioengineers at Duke Univesity in North Carolina have developed a laboratory prototype of a robot that can locate and surgically extract shrapnel pieces from flesh without any kind of human supervision. Using 3-D ultrasound imaging as “eyes”, the tabletop robot was able to precisely locate tiny shards of metal and then successfully guide a needle to their exact location.  Read More

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