In vivo robots for tele-surgery during long-term space flight

Mark E. Rentschler, Jason Dumpert, Amy Lehman, Kyle Berg, Stephen R. Platt, Dmitry Oleynikov, Shane Farritor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Long-term human space exploration will require contingencies for emergency medical procedures including some capability to perform surgery. The ability to perform Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS), or surgery performed with long tools inserted through small incisions, would be an important capability. The use of small incisions reduces surgical risk but also eliminates the surgeon's ability to view and touch the surgical environment directly. Robotic surgery, or robotic tele-surgery, may be a way to provide emergency surgical care in extremely forward environments such as space flight. Current surgical robots are large and require extensive support personnel. Therefore, their implementation has been limited in forward environments and they would be difficult to implement in space flight. This paper presents a theoretical and experimental analysis of miniature, wheeled, in vivo robots to support surgery during long-term space flight. The objective is to develop a wireless mobile imaging robot that can be placed inside the abdominal cavity during surgery. Such robots will allow the surgeon, or a remote surgeon, to view the surgical environment from multiple angles. Simulation and experimental analyses have led to a wheel design that can attain good mobility performance in in vivo conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - Space 2006 Conference
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2006
EventSpace 2006 Conference - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Sep 19 2006Sep 21 2006

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - Space 2006 Conference


ConferenceSpace 2006 Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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