Robot surgeons

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

da Vinci surgeon
Surgeons can use the robot to perfect their movements with computer precision and responsive controls.

Have you ever watched a TV show about doctors performing a surgery? They always seem to ask for something called a “scalpel” when they get started. While a scalpel is just a small knife they use to cut into the body, let’s take a look at a far more interesting tool…

Would you believe me if I said doctors are using robots for surgery?

Say hello to the robotic da Vinci Surgical System. This robot has already been used in more than 1.5 million surgeries all over the world, and it is supposed to be much better than a human doctor at performing surgeries. What makes it so much better?

First off, the da Vinci has four arms! Each one of those arms has a wrist that can spin all the way around, unlike our own. The cameras on the arms mean the robot can look at many more places than just the two eyes of a human doctor can. It also has 3D imaging technology that can see into the body in ways humans only dream about (except maybe Superman). The robot has very controlled movements, so there is less of a chance that the da Vinci will accidentally cut something it is not supposed to. The extra control that surgeons have with the da Vinci means that patients can spend less time on the operating table and more time healing.

Are you worried the robot will decide that it doesn’t like humans and hurt them? Don’t! The da Vinci doesn’t move by itself. It is completely controlled by a trained doctor 100% of the time.

“When you sit down at da Vinci console, it can do things that you cannot do through other means,” says David Rosa, who is from Intuitive Surgical, the company that created the system. “The robotic mechanisms and the 3D vision that come along with it [means] you can manipulate tissue and perform surgery like no one else can.”

If you are a hardworking kid who wants to become a surgeon, just think, you can have the da Vinci right by your side during surgery!

Images courtesy of Intuitive Surgical.