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Meet Your Robot Eye Surgeon

Study shows remotely-operated robots produce better results than docs for eye surgery.


Is it me or does it seem robots are taking over the world? We’re becoming accustomed to seeing clips of robots making cars, stocking store shelves, and making pizzas. Now it appears there’s been some success deploying medical droids to perform eye surgery.

According to an article on, a team of surgeons presented research at a recent vision and ophthalmology meeting that outlined their success using a remote-controlled robotic system inside the human eye during an operation. As part of the study, the team recruited 12 patients needing retinal surgeries—six went under the knife with the robot while the other half were cared for by a traditional human doctor.

The results were pretty eye opening (excuse the pun!). Out of the six that had traditional eye surgery, five experienced retinal micro-hemorrhage events. The group under the care of the robot docs only had two episodes of such bleeding, the article said.

The takeaway, said, is that robot-assisted surgery can provide a steady pair of hands, making them a natural fit for clinical treatments that require precision and stability. On a broader level, it shows just how far robotics has come and how it’s likely the technology will soon find its way into a broad number of industries, far beyond manufacturing.

I’m not sure I’m ready to trust my body to a pair of robot hands. What about you?

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