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Pronto Mera, robotic surgeon to the space station

Pronto Mera, robotic surgeon to the space station

A miniature robot surgeon prepares for departure to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2024: the test mission will assess its ability to carry out medical procedures in microgravity conditions, in order to make it a valuable resource for astronauts. Future space bases on the Moon and Mars inhabit which may need treatment due to injury or illness.

The robot is called Mira and was made by researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA. Researchers are preparing the tiny robot surgeon for its flight, to make sure it’s strong enough to survive a rocket launch and that it also operates in space.

During testing aboard the International Space Station, Mira will work independently, without the help of a controller, but the astronauts will not be a guinea pig: the robot will cut tightly stretched rubber bands instead of skin and push metal rings along the wire, simulating delicate processes. “These tests are very important because they will allow us to collect a lot of data,” one of the team, Rachel Wagner, comments.

Compared to traditional robotic devices that perform surgeries, MIRA offers many advantages. First, its instruments can be inserted through very small incisions, allowing doctors to perform minimally invasive surgeries. Secondly, its technology allows you to perform operations even remotely and independently. This means that astronauts serving on the Moon or Mars can receive medical treatment without the need for a human surgeon.

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