This won't hurt a bit! Researchers have developed a prototype robot that, through key-hole surgery, can detect cancer tumors in half the time, with less tissue damage, and with 40 percent more accuracy than clumsy humans.
Doctors traditionally use MRI and CT scans, and because tumors tend to be stiffer than surrounding tissue, also need to pretty much poke around.
That's where the robots—developed by the University of Western Ontario and Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics (CSTAR)—come in. In tests using cow livers to represent human tissue, the robots' tactile sensors reduced applied force by 35 percent, and systematic tissue mapping made them more accurate.