Engineers at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University have developed a miniaturized robot for single incision and natural orifice surgeries. The device features haptic feedback, allowing the nearby physician operating it to feel the stiffness of tissues manipulated by the instruments, a feature not available on existing big name robotic surgical systems.
The Novel Surgical Robotic System (NSRS) is designed to be inserted through an incision or orifice and unfolded inside the body. The small arms and micromotors that control them are then able to work on the body without requiring a large external machine to drive the tools. The researchers believe that this is the first such system, but just yesterday we reported on the first in-human use of a very similar robot from Virtual Incision, a spin-out of the University of Nebraska. The Hong Kong Poly’s robot has so far been tested on porcine models with further development still in the works before moving on to human trials.
Here’s video of the robot in action from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University: