NASA will install a robot surgeon in the Space Station, like in the SF movies

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[EN VIDÉO] Can a medical robot operate on the spine?
The robot surgeon Rosa has already been accompanying neurosurgeons for several years for brain operations. It has been adapted to another medical field: back surgery, in particular that of the spine.

One of the difficulties facing the astronauts, and which will become a major problem in the future during long space voyages, for example to Mars, is access to healthcare. For this reason, the Nasa account send a robot surgeon aboard the international space station (ISS).

Virtual Incision, a start-up from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, has just been awarded a budget of $100,000 to prepare its Mira robot for a stay in space. The firm has been working on this robot for almost 20 years. Mira is made up of two articulated arms each with a small clamp at the end, and surgeons have already used it for a colectomy.

Discover the Mira robot surgeon in this presentation video. © Virtual Incision

Launch planned for 2024

However, the robot will not operate on the astronauts. He will have to cut rubber bands and move rings with movements reproducing those used in surgery. The purpose of this project is to be able to test the device without the gravity earthly. ” We expect that the robot behaves differently in spacesaid Shane Farritor, co-founder of Virtual Incision. Any force or play in the joints will lead to inaccuracy in weightlessness “.

Researchers will need to ensure that the robot is sufficiently solid to survive the launch. They will also have to program the robot to carry out the tests autonomously in order to limit the use of the bandwidth of the ISS as well as the time the astronauts will have to pass over it. They will normally only need to turn it on, then turn it off two hours later.

Nasa plans to send the robot to the ISS in 2024. This is a long-term project, since Shane Farritor does not expect it to be able to perform autonomous operations for 50 or more years. 100 years.

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