Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

With Robot-Performed Virtual Autopsies, Your Corpse Gets a Stunt Double

Illustration for article titled With Robot-Performed Virtual Autopsies, Your Corpse Gets a Stunt Double

Virtual autopsies (yes, "virtopsies") are the newest in cause-of-death forensics. Robots surround a body, creating 3D imagery inside and out. When ready, the real body rests in peace while the stunt corpse gets chopped apart. Goodbye, CSI-induced nightmares!


Basically the the virtopsy bot (yes, "Virtibot") manipulates and dots the body with markings in order to measure and take a bunch of stereo images with its array of cameras. While the external structure and markings of a body are being documented, a CT scan takes care of the innards. The final 3D image is created which pathologists then use and abuse without worrying about deforming a deceased body. If need be, the Virtibot can use a needle to extract fluid or perform minimally intrusive biopsies.

Aside from being far neater than a traditional autopsy, virtual autopsies allow for archiving of the 3D bodies for later medical analysis or case comparison in the event of criminal trials. Not to mention that there'd never be another "Oops, I didn't mean to make that incision" hilarious coroner moment again. [New Scientist via Pop Sci]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter



hrm, this seems deficient even based on my minimal knowledge of autopsies. normally in the autopsy they weigh each individual organ to check of abnormalities. while a scan could tell you about the size of an organ, it won't tell you how much it weighs.

chemical analysis of any organ would require tissue samples as well.

and often the color of tissue is a quick visual indicator which would likely not be replicated based on a CT scan.

i can see this being great for a teaching tool, but seems limited in terms of replacing real autopsies. #virtualautopsyrobot