28/10/2005 08:21 - (SA)
Dr Dmitry Oleynikov holds one of the small robots designed by University of Nebraska researchers. (Dave Weaver, AP)
A bright future on the cards
Robots in training
Omaha - Meet Dr Robot: about the size of a lipstick case, it's able to drive around inside your body and serve as the eyes or hands of a surgeon who could be thousands of miles away.
University of Nebraska researchers have developed the tiny machines, which they say could allow doctors to remotely conduct surgeries on the battlefield or even in space.
"We think this is going to replace open surgery," Dr Dmitry Oleynikov said on Wednesday. Oleynikov is a specialist in minimally invasive and computer-assisted surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Centre.
The tiny, wheeled robots, which are about 7.6 centimetres tall, can be slipped into small incisions and computer-controlled by surgeons in different locations.
Some are equipped with cameras and lights and can send back images to surgeons. Others have surgical tools allowing them to make incisions, deliver medicine and perform other tasks.