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Telesurgery From Outer Space

Christina Kuhrcke

Figuring out ways to travel beyond our planet often presents us with innovations that also make staying on it somewhat better – not least, when it comes to healthcare:

CAT-scanners, memory foam mattresses and ear thermometers are just a few examples of inventions that have their origins in space travel engineering.

A recent development to be added to this list is MiroSurge – a novel system for robot-assisted telesurgery developed at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Engineer Florian A. Fröhlich, who heads the research area for medical assistance systems at the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, explained how this project could lay the foundations for making surgeons’ lives a whole lot easier in the future.

MedicalExpo e-magazine: Florian, MiroSurge looks like something straight out of a science fiction movie. How does it work?

Florian Fröhlich: MiroSurge is a telesurgery scenario for minimally invasive robotic surgery (MIRS). That means we have a master console, with which the surgeon can control three robot arms: two are holding instruments and the third guides an endoscopy camera. So at least in this development stage it is a remote control principle, with the robot system enabling a translation of the surgeon’s movements inside a patient’s body.

Telesurgery From Outer Space

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