With advancements in robotics technology: better robotic control and articulation, improved dexterity, imaging and sensing, there has been a dramatic rise in robotic surgery. This does not replace the need for surgeons, as robots are not autonomous, they assist the surgeon who commands and controls them.
Robotics technology is now being employed to assist in a wide range of specialties including: neurology, gynecology, cardiology, orthopedics, gastrointestinal, and pediatrics surgical procedures. These robot-assisted surgeries can be divided into three categories based on the degree of the surgeon’s interaction during an operation: supervisory-controlled, telesurgical and shared-control systems.
During supervisor-controlled surgeries, the human surgeon must input data into the robot, which then initiates a series of controlled motions and completes the surgery. In telesurgery (or remote surgery), the surgeon operates by manipulating the hands of the robot. Unlike the other types of robotic surgeries, with shared-control procedures the surgeons must operate the surgical equipment themselves, using the robot to provide stability and support.