A surgeon can manipulate one of several robotic arms, depending on the procedure. Detachable instruments can perform tasks such as suturing and clamping, without the risk of a tremor or shake. A 3D imaging system shows the surgeon a high-resolution view of what's happening in real-time, with the ability to shift viewpoints using a pedal mechanism.
According to, Brown University's Division of Biology and Medicine this system reduces hospital stays by about half, speeds recovery, lessens pain, and reduces the probability of infection to nearly zero. "The rates of surgeries using da Vinci increases every year," Howard said. "You're starting to see more and more medical students being trained on it, hospitals buying these systems, and patients requesting robotic surgery."
The $1 million da Vinci system by Intuitive Surgical isn't the only robot with FDA approval. A Japanese animatronic seal called Paro was also approved. Designed as a medical device, the plush sensor-laden robot responds to touch, temperature, speech, and light with different behaviors such as blinking and cooing. Robot therapy has arrived.