Researchers from SRI International and the University of Cincinnati are set to pioneer in-flight robotic surgery, in a simulated zero gravity environment. The planned flight will take place this month and will be abroad a NASA C-9 aircraft at 34, 000 feet.
The researchers hope to investigate the precision and speed of human and RC robotic surgeons, under various conditions. One of the planned tests will involve creating an incision and then re-stitching, to allow an evaluation between human and robot performance.
The surgery bot, dubbed M7, will be running SRI software to allow it to accommodate for pesky jitters that may disturb the cutting fun times. All this technology has some use besides the realization of some scientist's wet dream. SRI hope to develop their telerobotic systems to allow future medical treatment to be administered to individuals that are not within reach of a physician. War zones, natural disaster sites and ambulances all look set to benefit if things go dandy.
We at Gizmodo would like to do our part, so we're offering up our intern to the cause. As long as you stitch him up, make as many incisions as you like! [SRI International via CNet]