Imagine a fist sized robot sliding into your body through an incision in your belly button to remove your appendix?
NASA is currently developing a fist sized robot prototype that will do just that, as the robots will hopefully in the future accompany astronauts to space to perform emergency surgeries. Astronauts like people on Earth can be faced with medical emergencies, and this could be the solution to those emergencies.
The robot itself weighs 0.9 pounds, is the size of a fist, has two arms fitted with tools to hold, while its head is a small video camera. The camera feed is sent to a control station where a human surgeon can operate it using job sticks.
But just how possible is it to operate the robot arms on Mars, from a control station on Earth?
This question has lead NASA to the decision that they would train their astronauts to use the robot in emergencies to perform surgeries on each other.
Right now they are testing the robot prototype on pigs, and its first zero gravity test will happen in the next few months.