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Home Industry News New robotic arm shows promise in surgical applications

New robotic arm shows promise in surgical applications

18th May 2015

Researchers have created a robotic arm inspired by the arms of an octopus that could facilitate surgical procedures in future.

Developed by the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Italy, the device is made from two interconnecting identical modules that can be made to move by inflating three cylindrical chambers equally spaced inside the module.

By alternating and combining the inflation of the three chambers, the module could be made to bend and stretch in various directions, while its stiffness can also be controlled.

According to data published in the journal Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, the arm can bend to angles of up to 255 degrees and stretch to 62 percent of its initial length. Meanwhile, the stiffening mechanism was able to provide stiffness increases from 60 percent up to 200 percent.

This will enable surgeons to easily access remote, confined regions of the body and manipulate soft organs without damaging them. It could also reduce the number of instruments and entry incisions needed, as part of the arm could be used to manipulate organs while another part of the arm performs the surgery.

Lead author of the study Dr Tommaso Ranzani said: "We believe our device is the first step to creating an instrument that is able to perform all of these tasks, as well as reach remote areas of the body and safely support organs around the target site."ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801787767-ADNFCR

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