Very soon, a robot surgeon may begin its practice in orbit — and though it won’t quite be a metallic, humanoid machine wearing a white coat and holding a scalpel, its mission is fascinating nonetheless.
On Tuesday (Jan. 30), scientists sent a slew of innovative experiments to the International Space Station (ISS) via Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft. The 8,200 pounds of cargo arrived safely at the ISS on Thursday (Feb. 1).
One of the experiments onboard was a two-pound (0.9-kilogram) robotic device, about as long as your forearm, with two controllable arms that respectively hold a grasper and a pair of scissors. Developed by a company named Virtual Incision, this doctor robot of sorts is built to someday be able to communicate with human doctors on the ground while inserting itself into an astronaut patient to conduct medical procedures with high accuracy.
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