U-M engineers have developed a new robotic tool which will make performing minimally invasive surgery cheaper and easier, but provides higher functionality over existing low-cost tools. The tool, called Flex Dex, acts as an extension of the surgeon's arm, allowing the doctor to control it with just a turn of the wrist.
Minimally invasive surgery, which is performed through tiny incisions on a patient's body, is preferred over traditional methods due to faster recovery times and less trauma to the patients' body. However, tools to perform this surgical method are limited to either expensive and high-functioning robots or cheaper, more limiting manual tools.
U-M mechanical engineer Shorya Awtar hopes that making technology like this available will encourage the adoption of minimally invasive surgery by more doctors.