The autonomous robot STAR independently performed the first laparoscopic operation
In many countries, robotic systems controlled by surgeons are increasingly being used to perform laparoscopic (with small incisions) operations. However, scientists from Johns Hopkins University (USA) have developed a Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR), a surgical robot capable of operating on patients completely independently.
Six years ago, the surgical capabilities of the robot were tested on pigs when performing intestinal anastamosis – stitching the two ends of a cut small intestine. It is worth clarifying that then a large external incision and — albeit insignificant — but the participation of an experienced surgeon was necessary for access to the intestine.
The updated version of STAR with a greater degree of autonomy performed this operation by laparoscopy independently. According to the observers, the quality of the operations performed by the robot was much better than that of most of its “live” colleagues.
The robot surgeon is equipped with special tools for suturing, which is considered the most difficult stage of intestinal anastamosis. For this purpose, advanced visualization and autonomous control systems were used.