History of Robotic Surgery



Robot is derived from a Czech term “robata” that translates into compulsory labor. One of the first known automated machines, a statue of king Memnon that was able to produced sounds, dates back to 1300 BC, and human trials to build a “robot” extend into the deepest roots of human civilizations and represent a continuum of developments that led to current status of robotics. The impetus for the current robotic platform arose out of the need for telepresence to allow machines to perform tasks in hazardous environments, and this was first made possible in 1951 with the development of a teleoperated master–slave manipulator in order to handle hazardous radioactive materials. This chapter explores the rich history of the development of the modern day surgical robot.


Robotic System Defense Advance Research Project Agency Defense Advance Research Project Agency Robotic Development Surgeon Console 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Capek K. The meaning of R.U.R. Saturday Rev 21 July 1923; 136:79.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hockstein NG, Gourtin CG, Faust RA. History of robots: from science fiction to surgical robotics. J Robot Surg. 2007;1:113–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kwoh YS, Hou J, Jonekheere EA, Hayall S. A robot with improved absolute positioning accuracy for CT guided stereotactic brain surgery. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 1988;35:153.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cowley G. Introducing “Robodoc”. A robot finds his calling in the operating room. Newsweek. 1992; 120:86.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Nishihara S, Sugano N, Nishii T, Tanaka H, Nakamura N, Yoshikawa H, Ochi T. Clinical accuracy evaluation of femoral canal preparation using the ROBODOC system. J Orthop Sci. 2004;9(5):452–61.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Honl M, Dierk O, Gauck C. Comparison of robotic-assisted and manual implantation of a primary total hip replacement. A prospective study. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2003;85(A(8)):1470–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Zipper SG, Puschmann H. Nerve injuries after computer assisted hip replacement: case series with 29 patients. Z Orthop Ihre Grenzgeb. 2005;143(4):399–402. German.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Harris SJ, Arambula-Cosio F, Mei Q, et al. The Probot—an active robot for procedures. Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 1997;211:317–25.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Davies BL, Hibberd RD, Coptcoat MJ, Wickman JEA. A surgeon robot prostatectomy—a laboratory evaluation. J Med Eng Technol. 1989;13:273–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Paul HA, Bargar WL, Mittlestadt B, et al. Development of a surgical robot for total hip arthroplasty. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1992;285:57.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ho G, Ng WS, Teo MY. Experimental study of transurethral robotic laser resection of the prostate using the laser Trode lightguide. J Biomed Opt. 2001;6: 244–51.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ho G, Ng WS, Teo MY, Kwoh CK, Cheng WS. Computer- assisted transurethral laser resection of the prostate (CALRP): theoretical and experimental motion plan. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2001;48(10):1125–33.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Patel V. Robotic urologic surgery. 1st ed. London: Springer; 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sackier JM, Wang Y. Robotically assisted laparoscopic surgery: from concept to development. Surg Endosc. 1994;8:63–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Parekattil SJ, Moran ME. Robotic instrumentation: evolution and microsurgical applications. Indian J Urol. 2010;26(3):395–403. doi: 10.4103/0970-1591.70580.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bowersox JC, Shah A, Jensen J, Hill J, Cordts PR, Green PS. Vascular applications of telepresence surgery: initial feasibility studies in swine. J Vasc Surg. 1996;23(2):281–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Unger SW, Unger HM, Bass RT. AESOP robotic arm. Surg Endosc. 1994;8:1131.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Oddsdottir M, Birgison G. AESOP: a voice-controlled camera holder. In: Ballantyne GH, Marescaux J, Giulianotti PC, editors. Primer of robotic and telerobotic surgery. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2004. p. 35–41.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wang YSJ. Robotically enhanced surgery: from concept to development. Surg Endosc. 1996;8:63–6.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kalan S, Chauhan S, Coelho RF, et al. History of robotic surgery. JRS. 2010;4(3):141–7.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Falcone T, Goldberg J, Garcia-Ruiz A, Margossian H, Stevens L. Full robotic for laparoscopic tubal anastomosis: a case report. J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 1999;9:107–13.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Reichenspurner H, Damiano RJ, Mack M, et al. Use of the voice-controlled and computer-assisted surgical system ZEUS for endoscopic coronary artery bypass grafting. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1999; 118(1):11–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Marescaux J, Leroy J, Rubino F, et al. Transcontinental robot-assisted remote telesurgery: feasibility and potential applications. Ann Surg. 2002;235(4):487–92.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Florida Hospital–Celebration Health, Global Robotics InstituteCelebrationUSA

Personalised recommendations