Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Robotics Biotech

i-Snake, a New Robotic Surgeon 58

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the probably-picks-up-chicks-in-bars-all-weekend-too dept.
Roland Piquepaille noted coverage of the iSnake Robotic Surgeon which is basically a super flexible robot that can travel through blood vessels and repair the heart. Of course the article isn't exactly clear on what happens if they gain control of the city's sewage system and take over.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

i-Snake, a New Robotic Surgeon

Comments Filter:
  • I don't understand why they're calling this device a robot in the first place. It doesn't operate in even a semi-autonomous fashion, at least given the information found in the (very sparse) linked article. I fail to see how this device is groundbreaking; similar surgical techniques have been in use for years. If somebody has a better link, or at least one that doesn't sound like a fluffed-up ad, please help me out here.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by phillips321 (955784)
      i'm not sure about robot, maybe a machine? but hasn't this already been done?http://www.forumpix.co.uk/i.php?I=1199036905 [forumpix.co.uk]
    • by Anonymous Coward

      If somebody has a better link, or at least one that doesn't sound like a fluffed-up ad, please help me out here.
      > Select from people where time_spent_here > a_little_bit and ID = you.
      0 rows returned.
      • If somebody has a better link, or at least one that doesn't sound like a fluffed-up ad, please help me out here.
        > Select from people where time_spent_here > a_little_bit and ID = you.
        0 rows returned.
        Given that you didn't SELECT anything, you would be given a parse error - not a valid result as you claim. If you insist on conveying messages to people with [insert computer language here] then at least do it right.
    • by DrYak (748999) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @03:40PM (#21858898) Homepage
      Disclamer : IAAMD, although surgery isn't my main field.

      I don't understand why they're calling this device a robot in the first place.

      Because, traditionally, all forms of surgery where the surgeon doesn't directly hold the instruments but control them at distance are called "robot-assisted surgery".

      In opposition, for example to laparotomy (the surgeons cuts the belly opens and works with his hands and instruments) or to artroscopy (surgeon make tiny hole in the knee, and puts a camera and instruments through the holes) or gastroscopy (a long tubular instrument similar in aspect to the i-Snake goes down the patient throat, the surgeons uses microscopic instruments which are inserted through a tiny channel inside the gastrocope).

      In the case of robot-assisted surgery, the surgeons isn't directly interacting with the instruments, but he's controlling them using a separate console. In fact, he doesn't need to be sterile or even in the same room. There are even experiments involving remote controlling the robot over Internet2 across the Atlantic ocean (a big publicity stunt for the ISPs involved, and the hope that one day complicated operations could be achieved remotely by the expert surgeons without needing to fly them to the actual place). This is actually safe, as long as there's a surgeon standing by which could take over the procedure in classical way (-tomy) in case the robotic method fails.

      So it's not "robot" in the "autonomous artificial intelligence" sense, but in the sense "remote-controlled machine where the work is done by electrical motor actuator and not the operator's hands".

      I fail to see how this device is groundbreaking; similar surgical techniques have been in use for years.

      There's two reasons why the device is ground breaking.

      The first is a political one : until now we completely lacked competition in the market. The most wide spread robot currently is the Da Vinci [wikipedia.org] by Intuitive Surgical [wikipedia.org] and the problem is that they have bought their concurrent in the field, so they are currently the sole providers for robotic surgery [wikipedia.org] solutions. The surgeon that I know vehemently criticize this lack of concurrence (and slow speed at wich the prices lowers as a result).
      A new different company offering surgical robots will likely bring some fresh air in the market.

      The second reason is a technological one (that maybe isn't obvious if you don't work in that field).

      When looking to Da Vinci's picture, one realises that the robot is a very huge thing.
      The basic technique looks like all the different laparoscopic techniques : long rigid instruments that are hold by arms, except that these are Da Vinci's robot arms.
      The machine is big, a little bit slow, and takes some time to install and remove before/after each operation.
      And the problem is that it can only work inside a big body cavity (abdomen - it is used a lot for different gastroenetrological, gynaecological and urological operations). There's no way you could put a huge thing occupying 1m^3 inside a blood vessel.

      This kind of newer generation robots look like tiny snakes. The technique is similar to the different gasto-/colloscopic and angioplatic techniques : it's a long tube with tiny channel in which very long and flexible instruments go.
      Except that now the instrument are controlled by motors, AND THE WHOLE SNAKE-LIKE BODY can ondulate and reptate (like the actual animal it's named after) thanks to all motors that control it's body..
      This enables a lot of new possibility :
      - first it's much smaller than the older robots, so it will probably quicker to set up, and there's more room around the patient for the non-robotic personnel.
      - also it could be used inside smaller cavities : the article give exampl

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Paradise Pete (33184)
        What a great post. Much better than the actual article.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    There's a monster in my pants
    And it does a dirty dance
    ooo monster get away monster
  • by Urger (817972) on Sunday December 30, 2007 @12:29PM (#21857524) Homepage
    As long as they don't call it McSnaky I'll be fine.
  • I had to wipe tears of laughter from my eyes when I notice one of the tags for this article: :"ohnoitsroland"

    To anyone who doesn't get it, don't worry... hang around here for a little longer and you'll understand. That tag just made my day a little brighter.

    • by Troed (102527)
      I like that tag. It means there's an interesting article waiting for me to be read. The old days of Roland doing nothing more than pushing his own blog in all the links are long since gone.

      • Hey, I'm not saying Roland hasn't reached a "come to Jesus" sort of understanding with the community, but you have to admit the tag does bring back memories of the good old days... this article submission really isn't helping to bolster his reputation, however.

        • by Troed (102527)
          Agreed :) I actually went along and looked through the latest entry on his blog instead.
  • a more advanced form of angioplasty...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angioplasty [wikipedia.org]

    rotorooter thats the name and away goes troubles down the drain...
  • It's just downright coincidental that the article describes technology that closely resembles endoscopy [wikipedia.org], right?

  • Of course the article isn't exactly clear on what happens if they gain control of the city's sewage system and take over.
    Or worse, if they get loose on a plane...
    Or worse, if they make a movie of that...
    oh, wait...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Can you imagine having a Beowulf Cluster of these shoved up your ass?
  • This time(well, currently) they seperated his BS from a BBC link.

    I think we need a custom snake for Pigpail, one that expands enormously once inserted into the vein.
  • Finally, someone has invented the mending apparatus, except they mend people, instead of The Machine.
  • I assume that iSnake will lock itself to a particular health insurance provider, still to be announced by the manufacturer, and will be bricked on software updates if found to be unlocked?
  • by begonia (177694)
    Of course, one of the major reasons why endovascular microsurgical technology hasn't caught on yet is all the blood that gets in the way. Hey, it sort of cuts down on visual acuity. If you were to attempt to operate endoscopically on a cardiac valve, you would need to either do things under radiologic control (quite limiting) or under direct vision (such as thru fiberoptics). But you need to move the blood out of the way to be successful and no one has come up with a good way of doing this yet without ca
    • It does seem like, if you could overcome the blood issue, that a lot of blood vessel type surgery could be done thru an endoscope. A lot of the problem seems to be cholesterol plaque build up and that could probably be cut out or trimmed down under direct microscopic vision.
    • Hey, it sort of cuts down on visual acuity
      Couldn't you like dilute it with lots of water or something?
  • Oblig. (Score:2, Funny)

    Seems like iSnake would be a better name for a robotic lawyer... rimshot!
  • $10 says Apple has a fit over them calling it something prefixed with an i.

Forty two.

Working...