Next time you go to get your gall bladder removed, your surgeon may have a tiny helper. No, it's not a bile-covered gnome. It's a robot!
Instead of the older laparoscopic cameras that are used for this and other smaller surgeries, new radio-controlled mini-robots are now being tested on animals (that pig didn't need his prostate, anyhow). One robot has a camera, while another comes with a needle that can extract tissue for biopsies. And yet another can move around the abdominal cavity, with a spiral pattern on its wheels to easily maneuver over organ surfaces. Yum yum. These robots would pass right through small incisions on the body and other robots are being developed to help in emergency surgery as well.