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i-Snake, a New Robotic Surgeon

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the probably-picks-up-chicks-in-bars-all-weekend-too dept.

Robotics 58

Roland Piquepaille noted coverage of the iSnake Robotic Surgeon which is basically a super flexible robot that can travel through blood vessels and repair the heart. Of course the article isn't exactly clear on what happens if they gain control of the city's sewage system and take over.

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Article short on details, title misleading. (3, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21857498)

I don't understand why they're calling this device a robot in the first place. It doesn't operate in even a semi-autonomous fashion, at least given the information found in the (very sparse) linked article. I fail to see how this device is groundbreaking; similar surgical techniques have been in use for years. If somebody has a better link, or at least one that doesn't sound like a fluffed-up ad, please help me out here.

Re:Article short on details, title misleading. (2, Informative)

phillips321 (955784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21857546)

i'm not sure about robot, maybe a machine? but hasn't this already been done?http://www.forumpix.co.uk/i.php?I=1199036905 [forumpix.co.uk]

Re:Article short on details, title misleading. (3, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21857604)

Exactly my point. Folks can also reference this article on endoscopy [wikipedia.org] and related topics for additional information. While there may indeed be innovative research going on in the field, the submitted article is about as newsworthy as an advertisement for a wheel.

Re:Article short on details, title misleading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21864238)

Jesus christ, not only is this another Roland article, but then you come along again with your pointless and annoying forumpix.co.uk-spam.

Re:Article short on details, title misleading. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21857984)

If somebody has a better link, or at least one that doesn't sound like a fluffed-up ad, please help me out here.
> Select from people where time_spent_here > a_little_bit and ID = you.
0 rows returned.

Re:Article short on details, title misleading. (1)

x_MeRLiN_x (935994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21858258)

If somebody has a better link, or at least one that doesn't sound like a fluffed-up ad, please help me out here.
> Select from people where time_spent_here > a_little_bit and ID = you.
0 rows returned.
Given that you didn't SELECT anything, you would be given a parse error - not a valid result as you claim. If you insist on conveying messages to people with [insert computer language here] then at least do it right.

Re:Article short on details, title misleading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21865202)

STFU, faggot.

Why it is ground breaking. (5, Informative)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21858898)

Disclamer : IAAMD, although surgery isn't my main field.

I don't understand why they're calling this device a robot in the first place.


Because, traditionally, all forms of surgery where the surgeon doesn't directly hold the instruments but control them at distance are called "robot-assisted surgery".

In opposition, for example to laparotomy (the surgeons cuts the belly opens and works with his hands and instruments) or to artroscopy (surgeon make tiny hole in the knee, and puts a camera and instruments through the holes) or gastroscopy (a long tubular instrument similar in aspect to the i-Snake goes down the patient throat, the surgeons uses microscopic instruments which are inserted through a tiny channel inside the gastrocope).

In the case of robot-assisted surgery, the surgeons isn't directly interacting with the instruments, but he's controlling them using a separate console. In fact, he doesn't need to be sterile or even in the same room. There are even experiments involving remote controlling the robot over Internet2 across the Atlantic ocean (a big publicity stunt for the ISPs involved, and the hope that one day complicated operations could be achieved remotely by the expert surgeons without needing to fly them to the actual place). This is actually safe, as long as there's a surgeon standing by which could take over the procedure in classical way (-tomy) in case the robotic method fails.

So it's not "robot" in the "autonomous artificial intelligence" sense, but in the sense "remote-controlled machine where the work is done by electrical motor actuator and not the operator's hands".

I fail to see how this device is groundbreaking; similar surgical techniques have been in use for years.


There's two reasons why the device is ground breaking.

The first is a political one : until now we completely lacked competition in the market. The most wide spread robot currently is the Da Vinci [wikipedia.org] by Intuitive Surgical [wikipedia.org] and the problem is that they have bought their concurrent in the field, so they are currently the sole providers for robotic surgery [wikipedia.org] solutions. The surgeon that I know vehemently criticize this lack of concurrence (and slow speed at wich the prices lowers as a result).
A new different company offering surgical robots will likely bring some fresh air in the market.

The second reason is a technological one (that maybe isn't obvious if you don't work in that field).

When looking to Da Vinci's picture, one realises that the robot is a very huge thing.
The basic technique looks like all the different laparoscopic techniques : long rigid instruments that are hold by arms, except that these are Da Vinci's robot arms.
The machine is big, a little bit slow, and takes some time to install and remove before/after each operation.
And the problem is that it can only work inside a big body cavity (abdomen - it is used a lot for different gastroenetrological, gynaecological and urological operations). There's no way you could put a huge thing occupying 1m^3 inside a blood vessel.

This kind of newer generation robots look like tiny snakes. The technique is similar to the different gasto-/colloscopic and angioplatic techniques : it's a long tube with tiny channel in which very long and flexible instruments go.
Except that now the instrument are controlled by motors, AND THE WHOLE SNAKE-LIKE BODY can ondulate and reptate (like the actual animal it's named after) thanks to all motors that control it's body..
This enables a lot of new possibility :
- first it's much smaller than the older robots, so it will probably quicker to set up, and there's more room around the patient for the non-robotic personnel.
- also it could be used inside smaller cavities : the article give example of angioplasty. One could also imagine procedure on the inside walls of the bowels which couldn't be done with the older robots (they can only enter through the belly walls inside the abdominal cavity. The surgeon will have to cut the gut open).
- motion compensation : as the snake-shaped robots are able to move their body, there's some research done on tracking the patient's movements (like breathing, etc...) and the snake following them, so from the surgeon's perspective (ie.: from the perspective of the built-in camera and instruments) the target organ seems motionless and thus enables much more precise procedures.

at least given the information found in the (very sparse) linked article


I agree that the article lacks appropriate informations and that the /. summary is exceptionally too short to be useful, even for an average /. summary.

Re:Why it is ground breaking. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21861178)

So it's not "robot" in the "autonomous artificial intelligence" sense, but in the sense "remote-controlled machine where the work is done by electrical motor actuator and not the operator's hands".
So an RC car is a robot? Stop redefining words.

Domain-specific vocabulary (3, Informative)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21861968)

So an RC car is a robot? Stop redefining words.


I'm not personnaly re-inventing words.
It's just that in some specific field, the word aren't used in the exact same way as the average /.er use them.

In the case of Medicine autonomous A.I. isn't required to call something a "robot" (probably rooted to the fact that for a lot of actions in the medical field, a decision from a formed specialist is always required). In fact with your definition a pacemaker in automatic mode should be called a robot as it can autonomously decide when to fire. It's not the case.

In fact, in the military field as far as I've read, it seems that the word "robot" is also used for a lot of remote controlled device like defusing/demining machine, so apparently we aren't the only one using this king of vocabulary (probably also for the same reason as a human is always mandatory to pull the trigger and that autonomous armed machine were a big no-no until very recently).

Although, about autonomous surgery, there are research into developing techniques were surgeon first train and try an operation virtually on simulation, recording their best performance and restarting the simulation when unhappy, and then have robot "replay" the best scenario recorded on the actual patient. But that won't see the light. Machines performing actions on their own without human supervision is a big taboo in medicine, even if the public opinion seems to tolerate more from machine than humans.

Re:Domain-specific vocabulary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21862546)

Mod parent up for not calling the AC an ignorant cocksucker. I would have.

iSnake ? Anyone remember this song (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21857508)

There's a monster in my pants
And it does a dirty dance
ooo monster get away monster

As long as... (5, Funny)

Urger (817972) | more than 6 years ago | (#21857524)

As long as they don't call it McSnaky I'll be fine.

Re:As long as... (4, Funny)

OECD (639690) | more than 6 years ago | (#21858172)

Snakes In A Vein?

Re:As long as... (1)

dwillden (521345) | more than 6 years ago | (#21859670)

Or, Snakes in the Brain!

future meme (1)

dafing (753481) | more than 6 years ago | (#21860978)

Im Sitting Here On An Excercycle And Almost Hit The Handlebars from laughing at that. Like most other people I didnt see Snakes on a plane but damn, I can imagine "I have had it with these MF Snakes in this MF Brain!" lol. Thanks for a laugh.

Re:As long as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21859736)

One man's -1 Flamebait is another man's +5 Funny.

They are not mutually exclusive.

Re:As long as... (1)

Kiuas (1084567) | more than 6 years ago | (#21860756)

Sounds like some Apple product.

"I hate these motherfucking iSnakes in this motherfucking iVein."

Tagging says it all. (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21857584)

I had to wipe tears of laughter from my eyes when I notice one of the tags for this article: :"ohnoitsroland"

To anyone who doesn't get it, don't worry... hang around here for a little longer and you'll understand. That tag just made my day a little brighter.

Re:Tagging says it all. (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 6 years ago | (#21857608)

I like that tag. It means there's an interesting article waiting for me to be read. The old days of Roland doing nothing more than pushing his own blog in all the links are long since gone.

Re:Tagging says it all. (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21857660)

Hey, I'm not saying Roland hasn't reached a "come to Jesus" sort of understanding with the community, but you have to admit the tag does bring back memories of the good old days... this article submission really isn't helping to bolster his reputation, however.

Re:Tagging says it all. (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 6 years ago | (#21857698)

Agreed :) I actually went along and looked through the latest entry on his blog instead.

corepirates nazis slithering into the abyss (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21857602)

as it should be. no small order though. curious why we're so hell-bent on self-destruction.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in.

for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it?

we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster.

meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'.

the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way.

the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US;

gov. bush denies health care for the little ones

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles;
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

Inevitable typo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21857614)

i-Shake

bad idea (0, Troll)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#21857740)

If someone's blood vessel is plugged up with cholesterol, wouldn't a snake get stuck and kill them? And if they break the chunk off that could easily cause a stroke. Plus a big snake stuck in your heart doesn't sound too safe either. And what if it doesn't want to get out and causes a hostage situation? Then what?

Btw wtf is everyone's problem with Roland? Maybe I haven't been around long enough but my only problem is I can't pronounce his retarded last name and he looks like a douche.

Re:bad idea (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21857812)

The problem that people have with Roland is that when he first started submitting stories to Slashdot, the only link he included was one to his own blog, which included only a bit more information than was included in the slashdot summary. On his blog page one could find a link to an article/writeup elsewhere that actually contained information. He was using slashdot purely as a means of driving hits to his own website and nothing more. On top of that, his own writeups often contained misinterpretations of information that was contained in the actual story. In short, he didn't know what he was writing about, yet he was profiting from it. Only after months of people grumbling about this did he start including links to the actual article from the summary without having to go through his blog first. He still includes links to his blog here, but now that we can bypass it, things are much better. However, this being slashdot, people around here like to complain about things long after the situation has been remedied. He often still doesn't know of what he writes, though.

Re:bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21858656)

Also, people have submitted stories, had them rejected only to see the stories appear almost word-for-word the next day under Roland's name.

pond life (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21858744)

On top of that, his own writeups often contained misinterpretations of information that was contained in the actual story.
It's like he applies a transformation that converts "X suggests that in theory Y isn't necessarily impossible, at least given condition yada yada yada, a following wind and the will of the gods" into "Y solved by X". It gets pretty tiresome after a while.

It's pretty evident that he either doesn't understand the subjects he writes about or that he doesn't care about the truth. Decide for yourself which is worse.

Plus he was and is a close associate of saboteur, bitchslapper and domain hijacker Michael Sims; that alone is reason enough to despise him.

Re:bad idea (2, Funny)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21857814)

If someone's blood vessel is plugged up with cholesterol, wouldn't a snake get stuck and kill them? And if they break the chunk off that could easily cause a stroke. Plus a big snake stuck in your heart doesn't sound too safe either.

Perhaps such concerns are why it's recommended that this be done under the supervision of a doctor, instead of at the back room at your local fried chicken joint...

Snakes in the sewer? (1)

ByteSlicer (735276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21857820)

Of course the article isn't exactly clear on what happens if they gain control of the city's sewage system and take over.
Or worse, if they get loose on a plane...
Or worse, if they make a movie of that...
oh, wait...

You insensitive clod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21857908)

I'm a doctor, and I can't pick up chicks in bars over the weekend!

Metal Gear Solid 5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21857916)

"- No ! The Robot missed the surgery operation ! - Oh my god ! Snake, Snake, Snaaaakkkkeee !"

Can you imagine? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21858112)

Can you imagine having a Beowulf Cluster of these shoved up your ass?

I'm tired... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21858118)

of all these motherfucking isnakes in my motherfuckin body!

At Least (1)

Symbolis (1157151) | more than 6 years ago | (#21858454)

This time(well, currently) they seperated his BS from a BBC link.

I think we need a custom snake for Pigpail, one that expands enormously once inserted into the vein.

You know what (0, Offtopic)

Shadow-isoHunt (1014539) | more than 6 years ago | (#21859174)

I'm rather annoyed with companies these days. Are you fucking Apple? NO!!! Then don't make an iProduct, if not that, then because prepending 'i' infront of 'x word in the dictionary' is fucking stupid in the first place, you consumerist whore.


Not posted AC, bitches.

(last explitive added to spite the lameness filter)

Re:You know what (1)

AnotherBrian (319405) | more than 6 years ago | (#21862460)

Thank you! I came in here to post the exact same think. I am so fucking sick of i[word] product names. iPod was irritating but ok, iPhone was really pushing it, anything else is way over the line.

Perhaps... (1)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21859594)

I assume that iSnake will lock itself to a particular health insurance provider, still to be announced by the manufacturer, and will be bricked on software updates if found to be unlocked?

What about the blood (2, Insightful)

begonia (177694) | more than 6 years ago | (#21860782)

Of course, one of the major reasons why endovascular microsurgical technology hasn't caught on yet is all the blood that gets in the way. Hey, it sort of cuts down on visual acuity. If you were to attempt to operate endoscopically on a cardiac valve, you would need to either do things under radiologic control (quite limiting) or under direct vision (such as thru fiberoptics). But you need to move the blood out of the way to be successful and no one has come up with a good way of doing this yet without cardiac bypass.

Re:What about the blood (1)

Ted D. Hoise (1210382) | more than 6 years ago | (#21864376)

It does seem like, if you could overcome the blood issue, that a lot of blood vessel type surgery could be done thru an endoscope. A lot of the problem seems to be cholesterol plaque build up and that could probably be cut out or trimmed down under direct microscopic vision.

Re:What about the blood (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21865248)

Hey, it sort of cuts down on visual acuity
Couldn't you like dilute it with lots of water or something?
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