Teams of researchers from University of California at Santa Cruz and the University of Washington put their minds together and came up with Raven II, a system inspired by a model designed for military use. Raven II is a complex system consisting of two robot arms, a camera, and interface for the surgeon and it can be used for online telesurgery.
The system works on an operating system based on Linux that allows users to modify its code. The surgical robot costs $250,000 and seven units have been already sent to various centers, including Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. Despite, its experimental stage, there are still plans to develop its capabilities even further. Apparently, the researchers plan to allow Raven II to perform open heart surgeries, and to synchronize to the heart’s pulse. In addition, the surgical robot should learn to perform surgeries autonomously.
Testing have been already started across the experimental labs that had the chance of working with Raven II. However, FDA hasn’t approved the use on people just yet. Jacob Rosen, the lead researcher from UC Sana Cruz explained the advantages as well as the flexibility of using Raven II. “Each lab will start with an identical, fully operational system, but they can change the hardware and software and share new developments and algorithms, while retaining intellectual property rights for their own innovations.”