Robotic Arm for Kids: Help in the OR

It’s not just for building and repairing the International Space Station anymore. Now the same technology is going to be used to help save the lives of children. Researchers at NASA are hard at work in the testing phase of development on this new medical advancement. The robotic arm for kids is called KidsArm, and it’s the latest tool surgeons have to help perform precision procedures on kids.

Developers are optimistic about the benefits this robotic arm will have. As of now, the automated feature of the arm can perform minor procedures such as providing a few sutures on its own. Apart from that, it will be assisting a human surgeon. Test runs, however, show that it can perform a procedure as delicate as working on a blood vessel with both accuracy and increased speed.

The size of the robotic arm is similar to that of an actual human arm. It also has a secondary external part that helps with dexterity. While the device is close to being ready to launch and scored fantastically well on all but one of the tests performed, that one glitch is keeping the device in the testing phase for now. Understandably, they want it perfect before using it in the OR with a child. But, once the bugs are worked out, this device could be a huge advancement in less invasive treatment options for children.

Researchers are poised to discover if the robotic arm for kids will reduce operating room costs and increase precision (similar to how a robotic arm has been benefiting magnetic resonance imaging machines since 2008). While the researchers primarily focus their efforts on devices that will be used in outer space, they are proud to be a part of this project, which has the potential to benefit children globally and save many lives.