Origami-Inspired Robot Shows It Can Do Delicate Surgery

A tiny robot, inspired by the paper-folding art of origami, may someday take on surgical tasks as delicate as pushing through a human eye to reach the hair-sized veins inside.

Two engineers recently demonstrated how a device weighing as much as a penny and no larger than a tennis ball can perform such delicate procedures with far more precision than a human. They described their work in the August issue of Nature Machine Intelligence.

The device was able to outperform a human in a test that involved tracing a square smaller than the tip of a ballpoint pen. The so-named miniature remote center of motion manipulator or mini-RCM, was 68% more accurate than a tool controlled by hand.

In a second test, the device successfully punctured a mock vein twice the size of a human hair, simulating a procedure that involves puncturing an eye to reach the blood vessels at the rear in order to inject a medication. Such surgeries have been done on an experimental basis with other robots, but are considered too risky to be performed exclusively by hand.

An article on Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering describes how Robert Wood, an engineering professor at Harvard, and Hiroyuki Suzuki, a robotics engineer at Sony Corporation, built the robot.

For years, miniaturized tools and cameras have enabled doctors to perform minimally invasive surgeries. Now, large robots are assisting surgeons by handling multiple tools with great precision. The downside is the size of these robots and their tools, and the cost. There’s also research suggesting that for many types of procedures these robots – costing $2 million and more – get no better results than traditional laparoscopic surgery.

Te mini-RCM, although still just a prototype, holds promise for reducing the size and cost of medical robots and has potential utility as a precise tool for teleoperated microsurgery.

“The Wood lab’s unique technical capabilities for making micro-robots have led to a number of impressive inventions over the last few years,” says Suzuki . ”I was convinced that it also had the potential to make a breakthrough in the field of medical manipulators as well.”

“This project has been a great success.”

Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Anthony Agosto
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Leadership + Management Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Anthony Agosto

Shop for Jobs this Holiday Weekend
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

Shop for Jobs this Holiday Weekend

Thankful for Our Community this Thanksgiving
General Interest Green Key News Leadership + Management Worklife

Thankful for Our Community this Thanksgiving

Green Key Unlocked: Behavioral Interviews in IT
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: Behavioral Interviews in IT

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Stu Leifer
Accounting + Finance General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Stu Leifer

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sam Jaberi
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sam Jaberi

Preparing for Different Types of Interviews
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

Preparing for Different Types of Interviews

Benefits of Working Hybrid
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

Benefits of Working Hybrid

Green Key Unlocked: How to Succeed in Desktop Support
General Interest Green Key News Information Technology Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: How to Succeed in Desktop Support

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Andrew List
Financial Services General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Andrew List

How to Improve Sleep Hygiene (For a Better Work-Life Balance)
General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Worklife

How to Improve Sleep Hygiene (For a Better Work-Life Balance)

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Karlina Cordero
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Karlina Cordero

How to Ask for a Raise
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Ask for a Raise

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brittany Kinsella
General Interest Green Key News Leadership + Management Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Brittany Kinsella

Green Key Unlocked: Why Green Key?
Accounting + Finance Architecture + Engineering Financial Services General Interest Green Key News Healthcare Human Resources Information Technology Leadership + Management Legal Support Marketing Technology Pharma Professional Support Worklife

Green Key Unlocked: Why Green Key?

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Samantha Leveille
Architecture + Engineering General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Samantha Leveille

How to Answer Salary Expectations
General Interest Green Key News Worklife

How to Answer Salary Expectations

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sean Coyne
Architecture + Engineering General Interest Green Key News Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Sean Coyne

Questions to Ask During a Job Interview
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

Questions to Ask During a Job Interview

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Angela Singh
General Interest Green Key News Human Resources Worklife

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Angela Singh

Latest Blog Posts
View All Posts
#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Anthony Agosto

#WeAreGreenKey: Spotlight on Anthony Agosto

Anthony has been with Green Key for over eight years and has played an integral role in the success of...
Read More
Shop for Jobs this Holiday Weekend

Shop for Jobs this Holiday Weekend

This coming weekend may call for hearty food, crazy sales, and some quality down time to unwind. But while you're...
Read More
Thankful for Our Community this Thanksgiving

Thankful for Our Community this Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving approaches, we'd like to take the time to thank our amazing Green Key community! This includes all of...
Read More