British researchers are developing a medical robot which can work out the intentions of a surgeon performing an operation, making surgery easier and more precise.
They hope new software will lead to less invasive operations, for example when conducting a cardiac bypass or tumour removal, allowing patients to recover more quickly.
The improvements have been made to the most advanced robotic surgeon on the market, the Da Vinci. It allows surgeons to sit at a viewing console directing the movement of the robot’s mechanical arms inside the patient’s body. The research team is working on using the surgeon’s eye movements to direct the robot, getting the best out of both human and machine.
“We want to empower the robot and make it more autonomous,” said computer scientist Professor Guang Zhong Yang, of the Hamlyn centre for robotic surgery at Imperial College London.