Bringing Surgical Robots Into the Mainsteam
This is correct. I've been in the OR for open, laparoscopic, and robotic surgeries. The advantages to the robot, versus standard laparoscopy include: 1) The robotic instruments have numerous articulated joints (i.e. wrists) whereas laparoscopic instruments are straight and more unwieldy in some circumstances. 2) The robotic camera is high-definition and stereoscopic, so the surgeon can see everything in three dimensions, adding additional safety beyond laparoscopy.
The robots are not a panacea - don't bother asking your surgeon to perform a transplant robotically - but under certain circumstances, they make operations easier and safer. An excellent example is when the prostate is removed for cancer. The robot makes it much easier to operate in the pelvis, which is normally an awkward region of the body to access.