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'New type of way to perform surgery': Johns Hopkins students design robots to perform surgery

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Posted at 5:07 PM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 18:31:02-04

BALTIMORE — Nowadays, we rely on robots to do so much for us.

But, how many people would trust a robot to perform surgery?

Those who think Siri is great, might want to think again.

Johns Hopkins PHD students introduced a robot named STAR, who can perform surgery better than some humans.

Robots performing surgery? Johns Hopkins is giving it a try

"We wanted to use more advanced robotic technology to put the surgeon in a supervisory role. So, the robot would perform this procedure more autonomously and the surgeon just watches and intervenes if something goes wrong," said Axel Krieger, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

STAR stands for the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot. It was created by a team of Johns Hopkins University researchers.

The idea was introduced about 10 years ago. Through research and testing, the team got its first success with animals. Medical experts say star produced better results than some surgeons.

Johns Hopkins students working on robot to perform surgery

Experts say what makes the robot so great is its capability to work long hours and its accuracy in suture and repetitive motion.

"It shares the working load from the surgeon, but also the surgeon can be on site to make sure that the robot will not perform something that could damage or hurt the patient," said Michael Kim, a PhD student.

Although people shouldn't rush to get robot surgery just yet, the team says in about five years STAR should be in the surgery rooms.

"I think this technology is really something that can be used in all surgical robots, to really create a new type of way to perform surgery that is safer for all patients," said Justin Opfermann, a PhD student at Johns Hopkins.