And now for Robodoctor

Click to follow
A ROBOTIC assistant is being enlisted in operating theatres to help refine the techniques of keyhole surgery.

In keyhole surgery the operation is carried out by inserting miniature instruments through tiny puncture holes. The surgeon sees what he is doing by referring to images from a tiny camera called a laparoscope.

At present a human assistant operates the laparoscope, to free both the surgeon's hands for the operation itself. Now a British company, Armstrong Products, has linked a laparoscope to a headband with a sensor which detects movements of the surgeon's head, and moves the camera accordingly, thereby eliminating camera shake.

The first full operation using the new laparoscope was carried out by a consultant, David Dunn, at the Evelyn Hospital in Cambridge earlier this month, to repair a hernia.