[extropy-chat] Surgical robots

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Fri Apr 20 11:14:46 UTC 2007

On 4/20/07, BillK <pharos at gmail.com> wrote:
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robotic_surgery>
> Three major advances aided by surgical robots have been remote
> surgery, minimally invasive surgery, and unmanned surgery. Major
> potential advantages of robotic surgery are precision and
> miniaturization. Further advantages are articulation beyond normal
> manipulation and three-dimensional magnification. Some surgical robots
> are autonomous, and they are not always under the control of a
> surgeon. They are only sometimes used as tools to extend the surgical
> skills of a trained surgeon.
> (Check the links at the foot of this article).
> ------------------------
> Autonomous surgical robots are still rare at the present time.
> Keyhole surgery robots are available now in some hospitals.
> The army is especially interested in remote-control surgical robots
> and a lot of development is going on.
> A search on - surgical robot - (both a news search and a web search)
> turns up lots of hits of exciting new developments.
> <http://www.roboticsurgicaltech.com/>
> It doesn't look as though these machines are very far away.

If you check out the links, most of them describe either telepresence robots
controlled by a surgeon or else very specialised, stereotypic surgical
procedures. The difference between an autonomous robot surgeon and a human
surgeon today is like the difference between an apple-peeling machine and a
robot with general dexterity that can drive to the supermarket, find and buy
the apples, drive home, find the appropriate knife in the kitchen, and start
peeling them. In a sense, it would be like passing the Turing test for motor
skills. It will probably happen, but I don't think it's just around the

Stathis Papaioannou
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