Astronauts Eagerly Await Mini Robot Space Surgeon
Researchers are almost ready with their first mini robot space surgeon (produced through Virtual Incision in Lincoln, Nebraska), and it will soon undergo its zero-gravity test to clear its path of climbing inside astronauts.
Hopes are getting higher with every passing day of soon seeing a robotic surgeon accompanying the future astronauts on long deep-space missions. The expert researchers have confirmed that the robotic surgeon would be able to treat various emergency health issues like the removal of an ailing appendix, cutting of the pieces from the diseased colon and perforating a gastric ulcer, etc.
The approaching tests will be conducted in an aircraft flying in parabolic arcs and if the test runs successfully, it will facilitate astronauts with a professional medical assistance to run immediate unavoidable surgeries.
According to the explanations of the expert researchers, the miniature surgeon will make the required incision in the belly button to reach to the affected part, for the surgery. If any astronaut experiences a physical trauma aboard, the robotic surgeon will be present by their side to give them immediate medication, says the team.
"It must be an emergency if you would consider surgery in space," says team member Prof Shane Farritor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
This research would be important for the future space projects as NASA plans various long distance human missions to Mars and an asteroid, too. Though, the International Space Station has an emergency escape capsule as a standby to serve the aboard astronauts in case of any emergency, performing a surgery in space without gravity is not possible, added experts.
This is why the researchers have been working upon the Virtual Incision and its design so as to easily handle the job of treatment in deep space. This latest version of virtual incision weighs 0.4 kilograms with two loaded arms of tools for grabbing, cauterizing and suturing tissue, and a small video camera head connected to a control station enabling a human surgeon perform the entire procedure with the help of the joysticks.
It will be interesting to see the new invention and scientific community hopes for its success.
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