Robots have been around for some time and there were able to help man with the arduous tasks in different industries. Robotics is a technology heralded as a new revolution to modernization. Robotic devices have been developed and became important tools to make life easy. Industrial robots are controlled to do the work in big industries such as factories and fabrication of steel. Imagine how spacecrafts were assembled without huge magnetic hands that move with efficiency to build rockets and spaceships. These hard works without robots would not be carried out by the mere force of men. Robots were invented to practically perform the heavy works which the human strength could hardly bear.
History of Robots
Popular beliefs think robots are those huge metals in human form enforced with life just as you see them in the movies. In reality, the technology in making robots has not saturated the minds of inventors the concept of adding human intelligence in it, though in some countries they were able to develop talking robots with artificial intelligence, they make special programming so that for them to be able to talk or engage in a simple conversation. Still, computers are at the bottom of it.
The term robot originated from a Czech word robota which refers to forced labor. Forced labor implies that the robot is a dumb machine that follows a repetitive task. Today, the robots’ usability has been adapted in computer industries making microchips in which delicate and intricate nanoparts are manufactured.
Robots are perfect manifestations of modern technology. The more robots get advanced, the more we know how technological innovation moves through time. The rise of robots in human labor may either pose a threat on robot autonomy or merely as assistants that enhance man’s way of living. Besides, human intelligence is still behind the robots’ capabilities no matter when robotics end—if it will.
The military and industrial worlds have gained a tremendous benefit from robotics. Today, this robotic revolution is invading the field of medicine. The promise of robotic surgery has gone a wide distance from open surgery. The concept of robotic surgery covers a wide range of beneficial outcomes. Since the 1980s, minimally invasive surgery through laparoscopy has been carried out so that surgical techniques would only perform small incisions in the body. Now, robotic surgery can fortify laparoscopic procedure with greater precision using fiber-optic and 3D cameras.
Robotic surgery has been found useful in the mid 1980s when a group of researchers in National Air and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center theorized that a telesurgery could be possible. NASA-Ames works hand in hand with Stanford Research Institute scientists to develop a telemanipulator for hand surgery. This concept and the potentiality of the procedure were also adapted by the US Army in the aim to decrease soldier mortality. Though the idea may seem plausible and successful using animal models, the implementation did not reach the actual casualties of war.
PUMA 560 and AESOP systems
The first non-laparoscopic procedure using the robotic system was in 1985 when the PUMA 560 robotic arm was used in neurosurgical biopsy. To eliminate or reduce hand tremors in inserting needles and needle replacements, the system was guided by computed tomography. In 1990, the Automated Endoscopic System for Optical Positioning (AESOP) system by Computer Motion was produced for laparoscopic cholecystectomies or laparoscopic hernioplasty, and it became the first surgical milestone approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Many new robotic surgeries had been popularized in the 1990s until 2003 when Computer Motion was bought by another company. This paved the way for another but a far more improved system called the da Vinci Surgical System.
The da Vinci Surgery (H3)
The world’s most advanced surgical robot, the da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system, has three separate arms that perform different tasks controlled by a surgeon. The fourth arm is dedicated for high-definition camera that serves as the “eye” of the surgeon during the procedure. The da Vinci Xi has master controls allowing the surgeon to adjust his view of the operating site depending on his preference. This way, the limited capability of the naked eye is surpassed by this advanced robotic surgical technology, thus minimizing human fatigue and error.
The surgeon performs the operation with the help of a console that serves as the master controller of the robotic device. Technically, this robot still implies the master–slave system because it follows what the human wrists wants and does. The controllers were manipulated by the surgeon who serves as the controller mimicking direct movement to the operated spot. The da Vinci Xi robotic surgery system, being the most widely used platform in the world today, is being used by some of the most experienced robotic surgeons.
Three main goals of the da Vinci robot are:
- High-resolution/3D magnification screen
- Reduces risk of tissue and wound infection
- Miniaturized robotic arms
- Widely adopted in US and Europe hospitals
Benefits of robotic surgery:
- Shorter hospital stay
- Lesser wounds
- Reduced pain
Is robotic surgery feasible?
With the increase of different complications nowadays, there is a great demand for performing complex procedures with less risks on life. Possibly, by replacing conventional technique with a new one, robotic surgery will still have a long way to serve since this innovative surgery involves very minimal incisions.
While surgeries are delicate procedures since it involves life, the best surgeons in town have discovered and believed that with robotic surgery, the procedure and healing that might not had been possible before is now a dream come true. Truly, it may have involved risks, but bet they are minimal compared to conventional procedure.
Robotic surgery may not be right for everyone. Since medical practices aim to solve symptoms, surgery at times may still be the accepted treatment for a number of medical conditions. An old adage says “doctor knows best.” So it is best to consult a reliable, certified, and well experienced surgeon who has handled robotic surgery.
Surgical robotics is often considered as the new revolution in medical technology because it holds a promising future in related techniques in surgery. However, the underlying costs of employing robotic surgery may be high, undoubtedly they still serve as an important tool in the field of medicine because they are constantly evolving and inventiveness doesn’t stop in one stage. This is why research and studies have been undertaken to identify if this technique will apply eventually to all aspects of treatment involving surgery.
Excellence in humanity is amplified by these new inventions brought about by modern technology. This emerging technology in the surgical profession employing minimally invasive procedures has embedded another milestone in man’s ingenuity, whether this intends to be for practical application in the operating room or for marketing purpose only.
For the advantage of the majority, robotic surgery is paving its way to success as surgical procedures are the more reliable treatment compared with non-invasive medical practices. In this field, however, it also brought expert surgeons that have harnessed the experience making them certified and skilled in their own expertise. For example, the multi-awarded surgeon Dr. Brian Harkins has taken the leaps and bounds of medical success by adopting the da Vinci Xi robotic surgical system in his craft and is helping other surgeons who have a great interest in this latest system be inspired about this trend . Dr. Harkins and his team have relentlessly accorded to this latest trend in surgery treating procedures involving operations for treatment of diseases that affect many organ systems in the body.
The human body is a complex structure composed of different systems. It is undoubtedly one of the most complicated living machines in the universe, aside from the universe itself. The discovery of cells alone and how they behave inside our body speaks of the intricacy of the structure of the human being. The wonders of science through medicine have brought a significant change on the patients and doctors’ perception in preserving and protecting life and in constantly improving healthcare.