5 Cutting-Edge Technologies Revolutionizing Surgical Robots

Robots, once considered science fiction, have infiltrated everything from manufacturing to healthcare.
Hospitals everywhere are now using robots to greet patients and take active roles in surgical procedures. But what technologies make surgical robots possible? Advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and haptic feedback are enabling the creation of robotic surgical suites in medical centers worldwide. Kontron, a leader in IoT and embedded technology, is at the forefront with its latest white paper on realizing a robotic surgical suite. Here are the five technologies fueling this transformation and how you can leverage them for surgical robots.

1. Rise of Artificial Intelligence

AI is everywhere now, and one area it’s significantly impacting are surgical robots. AI enhances precision, reduces human error, and provides real-time decision support. Sophisticated algorithms perform tasks like cutting tissue and providing real-time video analytics. For instance, the Touch Surgery Enterprise by Medtronic employs AI for automatic blurring of faces and protected information, ensuring patient confidentiality. Kontron's high-performance modules  with AI capabilities provide the necessary computing power and reliability to handle the complex processing demands of advanced surgical applications.

2. Importance of Machine Learning

Machine Learning (ML), a significant area of AI, enhances quality control, automation, and customization. In robotic surgical suites (RAS), ML trains robots in tissue removal patterns, enabling them to detect tissue deformations during surgery and modify the surgical plan accordingly.

This real-time data analysis and pattern recognition leads to more personalized and adaptive surgeries. As a result, surgical robots can continuously improve their performance, ensuring better outcomes for patients. Kontron’s high-performance edge computing solutions, powered by the latest Intel™ Xeon D-2800 and D-1800 processors, provide the computational power and data processing capabilities at the edge, ensuring robots can efficiently analyze data and make real-time adjustments.



3. Impact of Haptic Feedback

Precision is critical in surgical procedures, especially in robotic surgery, which relies on sophisticated haptic feedback. Haptic feedback transmits tactile information to surgeons through sensors in the robot’s end effectors, simulating the sensation of touch. Not having this clear sense of touch can result in botched surgeries or serious mistakes. Kontron’s SMARC™ module product line offers powerful processing capabilities and sensor integration, ensuring real-time “touch” feedback during robotic-assisted surgeries.


4. Growth of 5th Generation Mobile Networks

Staying connected is a global theme, and 5G networks make this easier than ever. 5G provides surgical robots with ultra-low latency and high-bandwidth communication, enabling the potential for remote surgeries and real-time communications across the globe.

This advancement allows surgeons to perform procedures with unprecedented precision and responsiveness, even from distant locations. Kontron’s 5G-compatible modules, such as the COM-HPC® Mini, ensure reliable and fast communication for robotic-assisted surgeries (RAS) with unprecedented precision and responsiveness.

5. Advancement of 3D Visualization

Another key technology driving RAS is 3D visualization, which enhances the surgeon’s spatial understanding when using the system’s console. The surgeon sees a magnified view of the surgical area streamed from a high-definition camera. This technology can be utilized in real-time during surgery or for pre-surgical planning and intraoperative guidance using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) systems.

Kontron’s MediClient, a medical-grade computing solution, supports these advanced visualization technologies by providing high-resolution touchscreen displays, robust data connectivity, and hygienic compliance with medical standards. The MediClient’s integration of high-performance computing and superior visualization capabilities ensures precise and effective surgical operations​.


Future of Surgical Robots

According to Fortune Business Insights, the global market for (RAS) is projected to reach $22,381.6 million by 2032, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.5 percent. This growth highlights the increasing demand and potential of RAS to enhance patient outcomes. The benefits of RAS include safer procedures and long-term cost savings. However, the high initial costs and the need for advanced technology and training can be barriers to implementation.


Advancements in AI, ML, 5G, 3D imaging, and haptic feedback are addressing these challenges and driving the evolution of RAS. In current RAS systems, surgical robotic arms are controlled by surgeons at a console nearby. Looking ahead, surgical robots may perform operations autonomously with minimal input from surgeons, who might not even be in the same room.

Rob Ingraham, Product Manager at Kontron, summarizes, “The growing acceptance and demand for surgical robots will drive technological innovation up while driving costs down. What was once science fiction has become reality.”

Key Takeaways

In summary, five key technologies are driving the growth of the medical robot industry, changing traditional surgical suites into advanced robotic domains:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): Enhances precision, reduces human error, and provides real-time decision support in surgical robots.
  • Machine Learning (ML): ML enables robotic systems to adapt to tissue variations and improve surgical outcomes through real-time data analysis.
  • Haptic Feedback: Provides surgeons with tactile feedback during robotic surgeries, improving precision and reducing the risk of errors.
  • 5G Networks: Offer ultra-low latency and high-bandwidth communication, facilitating remote surgeries and real-time data transfer.
  • 3D Visualization: Enhances spatial understanding for surgeons through high-definition, real-time imaging and AR/VR systems.

Learn More: Discover Kontron’s innovative products. Visit our product page.

Download Our Whitepaper: Realizing the Potential of a Robotic-Surgical Suite. Download Now.



Video Image link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gd5mvhy6djc

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