October 10, 2011
Robotics in the Medical Field
The field of robotics in medicine have grown a great deal in just a few years.
This is a relatively new area of research.
Many types of e
xperiments on using
the medical field began in the 1980s
. One of the main fields of
medicine that was in the forefront was
the field of urology.
During this time, a
robotic arm was
developed to assist in prostate surgeries. Also in the 1980s,
to research the u
of robotics for telemedicine. This is where the
robotics would monitor a patient
s condition with the doctor being at another
felt that this would be a great asset to
roops on the
ilable to treat the wounded.
with medical robotics were conducted from 1989 through 2003.
Through this development and research,
developed medical robots
to assist with surgeries
and other medical uses
e use and
development of medical robotics is still a very active and progressing field.
Medical robotics is a new field that is developing at a surprisingly rate.
In 1985 a robot, the PUMA 560 was used to place a needle for a brain biopsy
using CT guidance. In 1988, the PROBOT, developed at Imperial Collete London,
was used to perform prostatic surgery.
he ROBODOC from Integrated Surgical
Systems was introduced i
n 1992 to mill out
precise fittings in the femur for hip
development of robotic systems
ht about the creation of the
Vinci Surgical System and
Computer Motion with AESOP and
the ZEUS Robotic Surgical
gical System comprises three components: a
surgeon's consol, a patient
side robotic cart with 4 arms manipulated by the
surgeon,(one to control the camera
and three to
ments), and a high
mounted on the r
obotic arms which enter into the
body through small incisions
. The da Vinci senses
the surgeons hand movements and translates them
electronically into scaled
manipulate the tiny
instruments. It also eliminates any tremors in the surgeon's
hand movements. The camera in the system provides
transmitted to the
surgeon's console. The daVinci System
is now used in
of surgeries such as prostate cancer, hy
sterectomy, and mitral valve repair, and is
used in more than 800 hospitals in both the U.S. and Europe. The system was used
in about 48,000 procedures in 2006 and sells for about $1.2 million. In May 2006,
the first AI doctor
conducted unassisted roboti
c surgery on a 34 year old male to
correct a heart
This surgery was done as if by the most expert
. In January 2009, the first all
robotic assisted kidney transplant was
performed in Livingston, New Jersey.
The physical form of th
e robotics is m
ade up of integrated
assembled on a single physical platform that can be maneuvered in different ways
by a remote caregiver. The body of the robot will have networked computer
cations devices, video camer
as with monitors and printers,
and microphones for
communications. Today, most of these medical robots have
human senses, except for
hearing. These medical robots
about the size of a man or woman sin
ce they have to
operating room or patient room.
These robotic units are
powered by batteries which eliminates the need for electrical cables or electrical
batteries will need to be charged periodically, putting the machine o
of use for a short time. These medical robots actually become the eyes, ears, and
mouth of the person who is controlling it. This type of application also makes it
possible for a specialist from a distance away to examine a patient and then have
ocal doctors take over after a diagnosis is made. This will enable many
patients to have the expert care of specialists wherever they are.
Medical robots are utilized in
ways in the hospital. The robotics are
used to perform Minimally Invasive Surg
ery (MIS). This is where small incisions
are made by the surgeon and the operation is performed with instruments and
viewing equipment inserted through these small incisions. This eliminates the need
for large incisions and a longer recovery. This also
minimizes surgical trauma and
damage to healthy tissue which helps in the recovery process.
controls the robot and provides valuable information
back to the controls allowing
the surgeon to
have a sense of touch to help control the robot. This type of robot
is typically called a "teleoperated device".
Medical robotics is also used in the diagnosis of medical conditions. The
different types are the CAT scan, laboratory equipment that proc
analyzes samples of blood and other materials from the body to make diagnosis for
the doctors. These
are much more accurate and reduces the
possibility of human error that can cause false diagnosis.
The figure below shows
e version of a robotic device in which the patient swall
ows the capsule
a camera within the capsule, which
takes pictures of the patients internal
organs and sends this information back to the medical staff to better diagnosis
the condition of the pat
Robotic capsular endoscope for examination of gastrointestinal tract
(Polo Sant’Anna Valdera of the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, 2005
or artificial limbs are used
missing limbs and organs
that can assist the human body is a goal of many researchers. This research could
possibly some day offer hope to those with damaged hearts, eyes, limbs, eyes, and
There are even some robotic devices that would
enable a pe
rson who has
limited mobility to give
them some movement where they have had none.
this area of research would be very beneficial in helping to rehabilitate our injured
military troops or possibly go as far as repairing spinal injuries or defects
I feel the possibilities are endless in this area of robotics.
Robots can also help in the rehabilitation of patients through exercise
platforms to help restore bodily functions and can monitor the conditions of
patients undergoing rehabilitati
on from the effects of stroke, injuries or other
brain and nerve damage.
Some of the advantages are that it minimizes invasive surgery. Other
advantages are precision, miniaturization, smaller incisions, decreased blood loss,
less pain and quicker heal
ing time. Other advantages
would be in physical therapy
with better equipment to aid in recovery.
stays, blood loss, transfusions, and t
he use of pain medication. Most
the hospital two to five days earli
most patients having traditional surgery
and return to work
and normal a
ctivities almost 50 per
more quickly. With
shorter hospital stays, the costs are lower for both the patient and the hospital
Some of the disadvantages of robotic
surgery as with the da
$1,200,000 with additional costs of $1500 per procedure. Additional
training is also needed to operate the system. Th
e training is
long and tedious
during the training pe
riod, surgeries could take
ce as long as traditional surgery.
This type of medical robotic research is still very young. Many new devices
and robotics have been developed and are still being developed. There is more
research and development done in the United States than any othe
you can see from the article below dated 1997, the research and development was
seen only as a future project, but today it is reality.
What impact did this assignment make on your understanding of the future of
AI in the world we live in?
The research I did for this article made me realize how far we have come with the
development of robotics in the medical field. I learned that robotics are a very big
part of our society today. I didn't realize that we had d
eveloped so many "AI"
products and that they are in use today. The term "AI" has a new meaning to me
not just creating a human
like robot, but that it entails many other forms of
artificial intelligence. It was amazing what has been created in Japan as
well as in
the U.S. Aside from creating an actual humanoid robot, I think this field has
brought to our society great strides in science and helping us to better our lives.
In what way did your study for this paper challenge any of your assumptions?
This paper did challenge me because I wasn't aware of how far we have come in
the artificial intelligence arena. I think that I am pretty well informed, but I
didn't know that we use robots in surgery as much as I learned in the articles that
I read. In
learning all the different aspects of AI, I became to realize that it is
all around us and we use different forms of AI every
It's fantastic that we
can do so much with robotics in medicine and I am sure that other fields of study
are just as impress
ive as this was.
Newell, Lori. 2011. Medical Robotics. www.ehow.com/about_4673595_medical
Kivi, Rose. 2011. How Do Robots Help Doctors? www.ehow.com/how
pedia. Sept. 2011. Robotic Surgery. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/robotic_surgery
Zheng, Yuan; Bekey, George; Sanderson, Arthur. 2006. Robotics for Biological and Medical Applications.
Bauer, Jeffrey C. May
2011. The Future of Medical Robotics: Creating Synergy in the Interaction of
Patients, Caregivers, and Intelligence Machines.
Medical Robotics Group at UC Berkeley. January 2002. Surgical Robotics.