Astronauts on long missions in space may soon rest easier knowing that they have a tiny robotic surgeon onboard their spacecrafts. Scientists have developed a miniature robot that can be used to perform remote controlled surgeries in space.
The device, which was developed with researchers from Virtual Incision in Lincoln, Nebraska, is about the size of a fist. The tiny robot was designed based on current laparoscopic technologies. However, the researches designed it specifically for operating in the zero gravity conditions of space.
“Laparoscopic techniques have allowed surgeons to perform operations through small incisions,” says the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Robotics and Mechatronics Lab. “However, the benefits of laparoscopy are still limited to less complex procedures because of losses in imaging and dexterity compared to conventional surgery.”
The miniature robot may soon accompany astronauts bound for missions in deep space.