National Robotics Initiative Grant To Create Smart Surgical Robots

Offering smart surgical robots with an innovative type of machine intelligence that would extend the abilities and assist surgeons to perform operations is the aim of the latest major grant announced by National Robotics Initiative.

The Complementary Situational Awareness for Human robot Partnerships is a project worth $3.6 million that would be undertaken for 5 years term. This is a joint venture between research teams headed by Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nabil Simaan, Robotics Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, Howie Choset and Russell Taylor and John C Malone, Computer Science Professor, John Hopkins University.

Simaan said that their goal was to establish an innovative concept known as complementary situational awareness. This new concept refers to the ability of the robot to gather sensory data while it is working and to make use of the data to guide it during operations.

Choset said it was a delight to work with Nabil Simaan on this project concerning medical robots as he considered him a leader in this arena. Taylor also added that the project puts forth the vision they shared together regarding human surgeons, robots and computers working as a single team in order to make a surgical procedure less invasive, effective and much safer.

One of the objectives of this project is to support the kind of awareness surgical experts have while performing an open surgery. This is because it allows them to see all the major organs along with the tissues directly and touch them. Performing open procedure is lost during the recent times as surgeries that have minimal invasive procedures as the surgery is performed by making tiny incisions on the skin of the patient. This procedure has become a common one these days as it accounts for reduction in blood, trauma and pain.

In addition, the recovery period is much quicker, less or no infections and cheaper procedures when compared to open surgeries.

Simaan, Taylor and Choset prefer to carry forward this effort to a much higher level. They strive to create a distinct system that will make the robot partners and create awareness about the task. The fund of the project is offered by National Science foundation.

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