Raven, the mobile surgical robot developed in the UW's BioRobotics Lab, weighs about 50 pounds. Its nimble appendages can suture wounds and perform minimally invasive surgeries. Credit: David Clugston
This week Raven, the mobile surgical robot developed by the University of Washington, leaves for the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. The UW will participate in NASA's mission to submerge a surgeon and robotic gear in a simulated spaceship. For 12 days the surgical robotic system will be put through its paces in an underwater capsule that mimics conditions in a space shuttle. Surgeons back in Seattle will guide its movements.
The 12th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations test will take place May 7 to 18 off the coast of Florida. The robot leaves Seattle on Friday. During the mission, Raven will operate in the Aquarius Undersea Laboratory, a submarine-like research pod about 60 feet underwater. This mission will test current technology for sending remote-controlled surgical robotic systems into space.