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Robot Assisted Live Medical Surgery Demonstration held in London, UK

By - March 31, 2017
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The Science Museum

e: [email protected]

Talk of Robots taking over the world are concerning some of the brightest human minds around the world, but in instances where robotic systems are already serving humans in a way to improve or add value to our lives, there is no denying the positive impact robots are and will have on global society. The world of science and healthcare have been using aspects of automation and secondary intelligence software and hardwares for quite some time already, and a recent demonstration at The Science Museum in London explained the fairly developed (and still rapidly developing!) process of Robot-Assisted Medical Surgery.

Held in conjunction with the ‘Guardian Live’ series of events in London, this event was held in front of an audience of medical professionals, students and enthusiasts and featured an actual physical demonstration and explainer of what a live robot-assisted surgery looks like, led at this event by Professor Lord Ara Darzi and his assistant Shirley Martin. The event took place earlier this month as part of the current Robots exhibition taking place at the Science Museum.

(DISCLAIMER: THIS VIDEO FEATURES ACTUAL LIVE DEMONSTRATION OF A HUMAN GALLBLADDER REMOVAL SURGERY AND SO ANYONE WHO DISLIKES VISUALS OF SUCH NATURE WE WOULD RECOMMEND NOT VIEWING.)

Professor Darzi and his team first used this Robotic Tech system called the Da Vinci Machine in 2000 to perform the first surgical procedure using this tech-assisted technique in the UK.

The Science Museum

The Science Museum

But whether the thought of robots conducting even just a medical examination leaves you scared about a dystopian future world that lies ahead of us all, and let alone the vision of a robot being used to conduct a fully, invasive surgical procedure; it cannot be denied that this Da Vinci machine certainly holds much prospect for the medical professions. In instances such as emergency surgical procedures in conflict-zones for example, where fast assistance may be required; an automated robotic-surgeon could certainly be a life-saver that holds less risk to a human conducting the act in such a volatile environment.

But as you will see in the video, this one is a robot-assisted operation that acts to make the procedure far more efficient than if conducted by a human alone, as it always has done for as far back as can be traced.

The Science Museum

The Science Museum

Since the da Vinci system launched in 1999, there have been constant improvements with the technology, and a latest advancement is called ‘the Xi‘, which launched in 2014. As of 30 September 2016, there is said to be around 3,803 da Vincis installed worldwide so it’s place is already firmly placed as a vital bit of kit in the medical profession.

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The Da Vinci system takes its name from the artist, Leonardo da Vinci, inspired by his study of the human anatomy and his early vision of automatons and robots.

For now, regardless of how a future vision of automation, Robots and Artificial Intelligence (A.I) will truly impact wider humanity as a whole, it cannot be denied that watching a machine such as the Da Vinci producing such intricate, life-saving assistance in a real-life operating theatre is truly a remarkable example of how far technology will play a part in all areas of our day-to-day lives, and it also emphasises how rapidly technology is advancing. The limitations are certainly stretching beyond what was once ever imagined in history as wider developing use of virtual reality (VR), 3-D technology and A.I all become regular areas of interest across all industries.

(This event in London was hosted by Professor Roger Kneebone, a long-time friend of the Science Museum and well known for his surgical simulations, and is part of the Robots exhibition event series in partnership with Guardian Live. It was held in front of a live audience.)

The Science Museum

The Science Museum

Special Thanks to: Heather Morris and the Science Museum Press Office

Visit The Science Museum website for more info about the exhibition.

Footage Credit: The Science Museum
Video Edit by: Vin Sharma

e: [email protected]

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