Concepts and Trends in Autonomy for Robot-Assisted Surgery

Publication Date: October 3, 2022

P. Fiorini, K. Y. Goldberg, Y. Liu and R. H. Taylor, “Concepts and Trends in Autonomy for Robot-Assisted Surgery,” in Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 110, no. 7, pp. 993-1011, July 2022, doi: 10.1109/JPROC.2022.3176828.

Abstract Surgical robots have been widely adopted with over 4000 robots being used in practice daily. However, these are telerobots that are fully controlled by skilled human surgeons. Introducing “surgeon-assist”—some forms of autonomy—has the potential to reduce tedium and increase consistency, analogous to driver-assist functions for lane-keeping, cruise control, and parking. This article examines the scientific and technical backgrounds of robotic autonomy in surgery and some ethical, social, and legal implications. We describe several autonomous surgical tasks that have been automated in laboratory settings, and research concepts and trends.