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    AI Robots and the Evolution of Laparoscopic Surgeries

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    Surgery is one of the most difficult and precise professions in the medical industry. It’s a very specialized field that few are qualified for, for obvious reasons. Since the 19805, some surgeons have been using surgical robots to perform more precise, smaller incisions during laparoscopic surgeries. Laparoscopic surgeries are categorized as surgeries performed through small incisions made a distance away from the affected area—basically, they make a small incision on the body and reach small laparoscopic cannulas into the body to fix the problem. These surgeries can be performed by the surgeon holding the cannulas in their hands, providing more margin for error, or by very expensive surgical robots. These robots have very specific programming that allows them to hold cannulas, scalpels, needles—everything needed to perform surgery. Surgeons control these robots with a controller that can be anywhere—in another room, across the hospital, or in the operating theatre with the patient (as they often are).

    There are few companies that make these machines, creating a huge monopoly. The only robot available in the United States is the Intuitive Da Vinci Surgical System (which costs around $2,000,000). The most popular robot in many other parts of the world including Europe, Asia, and South Africa is the Transenterix Surgibot Surgical System (which is not available for sale in the USA). It is worth noting that neither of these robots are AI—they are completely controlled by humans with a controller. However, Google teamed up with Johnson St Johnson to create a company called Verb, which is working to create true AI surgical robots. These robots would revolutionize the surgical industry, creating safer surgeries with less room for human error. A common misconception, apparent through articles and headings, is that the Transenterix and Intuitive robots utilize Artificial Intelligence Neither of these robots use AI, but are rather completely controlled by surgeons holding controllers.

    These are only two examples of many different surgical robots, but nearly all are operated the same way, They use an incredibly primitive code (or version of another code) that helps the surgeon control the robot in a slow, time-consuming surgery. However, AI surgery may be closer to reality than anyone thought, as previously stated, Google and Johnson 81 Johnson are working together to develop surgical robots that do have artificial intelligence programming (Gibbs) SR1 Robotics is licensing their technology to Verb so that they can work to refine and improve the function to create robotic surgeons. The robot they‘ve received licensing for, Taurus, was originally designed and programmed to be a bomb-disarming robot—definitely a bit different than removing or fixing organs, but it‘s also very specialized programming and implementation that requires great precision(Dougherty). According to Verb Surgical’s About Us page, they are developing innovative, machine-learning robots that will revolutionize the future of surgery. Adifficulty in researching these robots and future AI robots is that not much is released about what programming languages are used or what kind of programming is done.

    There are many different languages, some completely different from one another, that a programmer could use to program this Al, For example; Python could easily be used. There are already extensive libraries and help pages that have been compiled by avid Python programmers to aid in learning and developing an Al program, Java could also be used, however—the length and complexity of the java code is definitely a deterrent to using that particular language. C++ is also another good choice: it is very fast, and with the heavy amount of processing it takes to run AI, C++ would be a good choice for that reason alone. It‘s easy to see that choosing the “best” language for programming AI is difficult—each language has its strengths and weaknesses, however, it generally comes down to personal preference to which language to use, Another point that is often brought up is that most robotics manufacturers have their own software, which can mean their own programming language (Wikipedia).

    Because many of them have their own language, it makes it difficult for people who are trying to learn robot programming However, many of them are incredibly similar so it isn’t terribly difficult to gain a simple understanding of many of the languages Programming surgical robots (especially Al) poses many difficulties As previously stated, there are over 20 different languages that different manufacturers use, which makes it hard for aspiring robot programmers to learn how to program more than one type of robot proficiently. AI Surgery is definitely the surgery of the future, Though Verb is definitely the most talked about future AI surgical robot manufacturer/programming company, there are certainly others out there if one wanted to dig deeper onto the subject Many avid and gifted programmers enjoy spending time creating their own Al’s and tinkering with robotsiwith how much some people love that certain kind of programming, it’s easy to see why they would choose to spend their time on such an exciting and amazing project such as the one Verb Surgical has taken on.

    Though it seems to be a while before we will see any fruit of the programmer’s and engineer’s labor, there is no doubt that Verb Surgical will surprise and amaze the world once their product is revealed. It will revolutionize the face of surgery, and the way surgeries are performed in the United States and the world over. Robotic surgeries are already somewhat of a fad, but are often difficult to get to because of the hefty price tag attached to purchasing one of the machines (as stated, Da Vinci Surgical Instruments cost upwards of $2,000,000 USD). This spikes the costs of surgeries that utilize this machinery, and only large metropolitan hospitals with the great financial means being a large hospital brings can afford these machines, Smaller hospitals, even those in smaller cities, simply can’t afford this kind of machinery and therefore cannot bring in the same kind of business that larger hospitals can. The verb is working to change thisito bring affordable robotic surgery to more hospitals the world over.

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    AI Robots and the Evolution of Laparoscopic Surgeries. (2023, Mar 18). Retrieved from

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