Term: Battlefield Surgery Robots

Description: This technology ranges from actual battelfield robots retrieving wounded soldiers in the heat of battle, and carrying them in an enforced, automated, vehicle where their vital signs will be monitored, and remote surgery can be carried out by medical staff in a safe location all the way to the civilian market to do procedures where the required doctor is not present. This technology may even eventually find its way into space! This technology is not only mobile and being used in battlefield conditions, but the technology has almost a limitless range, which means we can get the specific treatment our soldiers and civilians need from anywhere in the world, at almost any given notice, assuming its not in use, because with any new technology, doctors are still going to have to be trained to work with it, meaning possibly a shortage of doctors at first.

While the technology is fairly new, this will ensure that people (mostly soldiers right now) get the specialized care they need from battle inflicted wounds. Where sometimes there isnt a specialty doctor available, many soldiers lose their lives. This will help cut down on those unnecessary deaths by providing medical staff from almost ANYWHERE to the soldier in need.

So basically, the doctor sits at home in his own country and looks through a screen where vital signs, video and any other pertinent information is visible, grabs hold of the controls, and preforms the required surgery, all through remote access. A surgeon will be performing some the pods functions the system heavily relies on autonomous control. Most of the surgeon's input will be to tell the robot not to do something.

Applications: This technology is primarily being used for treating injured soldiers hundreds or even thousands of miles away. This would help with the limited number of medical personal that might be located in any given area of the world when they are needed. This technology has been proven, and has been used by a team of U.S. surgeons at a distance of 4000 miles away from a soldier who required Gallbladder surgery. He recovered and was discharged 2 days later. This opens up the availability of specialty surgeons to soldiers in need of specific surgeries, ex: brain surgery.

Last year (2009) Darpa was scheduled to deploy the first remote battlefield medic/surgeon trauma pod robotic system. The goal of the Trauma Pod is to conduct emergency control surgery.

While there are more applications for the military, these applications can also be used in the civilian world, and there are some 300 machines at a price of $1.3 million a piece being used in hospitals worldwide for surgeries such as removing cancerous prostates, repairing faulty heart valves and other procedures.

NASA has also shown interest in the project.

Related Terminology: "Telesurgery", "Telepresence", "Traumapod"

Web Resources / Citations & References:

Graphics: "Below"

Unmanned ‘trauma pods’ to operate, and evacuate under enemy fire


Remote Controlled Surgeries
Robots will be more and more often met in emergency rooms
Robots will be more and more often met in emergency rooms