Slicing open the human body is a risky business. Traditional open surgery exposes a patient’s delicate innards to the elements, and to the potential for error by even the most skilled surgeon. To reduce these risks, the rising field of biomedical robotics is leading a revolution in minimally invasive surgery. Now a few small incisions in a patient’s skin can allow tiny microsurgical tools to slip into the body. This photograph shows the precise fingers of the da Vinci robot preparing to delve. A petite camera accompanies the dexterous tools, feeding back a 3D image of the scene beneath the skin. Remotely controlling each robotic limb with pinpoint precision, the surgeon navigates the internal environment with millimetre accuracy, without ever touching the patient.
Written by Anthony Lewis—