Virtual Incision Corporation and researchers from University of Nebraska-Lincoln have developed a fist-sized robot that is expected to prove beneficial for future astronauts as well as for other space explorers who live in space for longer time periods.
This tiny robot can slip in person’s body through small belly button incision. It works by inflating the patient’s abdominal cavity with an inert gas. Its two arms boast of multiple tools that can rupture gastric ulcers, can perform emergency appendectomies and stitch wounds.
The compact robot will be sent for its first zero-gravity test in next several months. It is a significant step towards making robotic medical assistance a possibility for humans who are on deep-space missions lasting for long time.
The robot would be controlled through a human operator, who would be using two Phantom Omni haptic devices. The devices will provide feedback, a foot pedal and a monitor. It would be during the test run in which a parabolic flight would mimic zero-gravity by diving that the surgeon user interface and robot will get a chance to exhibit human-robotic coordination.
Experts said assistance of robot in emergency situation is considered to be a rare opportunity. Such incidents have taken place at remote locations during Arctic or Antarctic expeditions and military submarine service.
With passage of time, things are getting advanced and this innovation suggests that astronauts and space explorers can be benefitted while they live at remote places far from Earth like remote moon bases or Mars colonies.