JLMBIOCITY-BRIEF-ROBOTDisney is showing off a highly responsive remote controlled telepresence robot the technology within which should have applications in surgical robotics. The major advancement is the hydrostatic transmission that allows the robot to mimic human movement to a high degree. While being so rapid and agile, the robot is also haptic, transmitting the pressure of the contact it’s making with other objects to the user, making hard things feel hard and soft feel soft. It’s really something to be seen and do note the section around 1:10 showing off inserting a thread into a needle, foreshadowing surgical applications.

Personal Comment: I remember when I was first a Urology resident, how my seniors literally laughed at the idea of doing a nephrectomy (removing the whole kidney) laparascopically (through a tube and small incision on the abdomen). It is astonishing how this technology is SO widespread today, that there are already surgical residents who have never opened a belly. These surgeons in training know how to work via a camera ­ not an open incision. And when the day comes that nanomachines will eat away a tumor, and other nanomachines will constantly scour our blood for all types of cancer cells, we will no longer need even minimally­invasive surgical techniques. Surgery ­ as an invasive set of skills ­ will die off. Needless to say ­ this will be a revolution, but more importantly, it will likely happen in the next couple of decades.

Also, never underestimate the knowledge we garner from the gaming and entertaining industry. The research that goes into the newest games ends up in other key day to day technologies.