Robot Surgeons

Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are developing a robotic arm called RAMS, that is steadier than a surgeon's hand. The device, being built in cooperation with Micro Dexterity Systems of Memphis, TN, lets surgeons make smooth precise motions as small as 25 millionths of a meter, the width of a human hair. If it tests out, it could be used for delicate operations of the eye, the inner ear, or the brain. Team leader Paul Schenker says surgeons usually come away impressed.

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