The Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery (MICS) robot from CMU
Snake-like robots have been mastered at CMU under Howie Choset for a long while. The original pole-climbing robot inspired Cardioarm, and later became the commercial system FLEX, a TORS tool. A great article appeared recently in the Surgical Innovation journal about the MICS robots:
"We have adopted a novel snake-like robot, the minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS) robot, which addresses these issues. In the current pilot study, the MICS robot was evaluated for transrectal distal pancreas exploration and resection in 2 nonsurvival porcine models. Abdominal navigation and accessing the pancreas was investigated in the first pig, and based on its success, pancreas resection was studied in pig 2. The MICS robot was successful in accessing and visualizing the right upper, left upper, and left lower quadrants of the abdomen in pig 1 and was able to perform a successful complex NOTES procedure with distal pancreas resection in pig 2, with only minimal laparoscopic retraction assistance. In conclusion, preliminary results showing the MICS robot in natural orifice distal pancreatectomy are positive. Enhancements to optics and instrumentation will help further increase the usability in pancreatic interventions. Future indications may include transgastric NOTES approaches, endoluminal procedures, and single-port applications."