About SMART Surgisol ™
SMART Surgisol™ is an emerging company which is an outcome of the R&D Project, titled “Development of Tele-Surgical Training Robot and Simulator” funded by National ICT R&D fund and being executed at SMART Lab of NUST School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (SEEECS). SMART SurgiSol™ intends to provide the surgeon with a low cost training solution for Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS),through its SMART Sim™ Virtual Reality Simulator & SurgBot™ Robotic Trainer.
MIS has become quite popular these days as it facilitates quick patient recovery and less chance of post-operative infections. It is performed through tiny incisions instead of one large opening. Because the incisions are small, patients tend to have quicker recovery times and less discomfort than with conventional surgery — all with the same benefits. During a MIS, surgeons make several small incisions in the skin — just a few millimeters, in some cases. A long, thin tube with a miniature camera attached at the end (called an endoscope) is passed through one of the incisions. The internal operating field may then be visualized on a video monitor connected to the scope. Special instruments are passed through the other openings. These instruments allow the surgeon to perform the surgery by exploring, removing, or repairing whatever’s wrong inside the body.
Performing minimal invasive surgery requires special skills like expert hand eye coordination, precise movement of laparoscopic instruments within a confined space and the ability to successfully perform surgery without damaging any of the organs. These special psychomotor skills cannot be acquired without hands on practice. However, practicing this new surgical technique on human patients directly is extremely unethical and can have dire consequences.
SMART Surgisol™ team worked hard to develop a low cost simulator (SMART Sim™) based on open source software tools and libraries. It also includes development of a hand manipulator that resembles the shape of a commonly used MIS instrument and is utilized to drive our simulator.
Recently, robotic assistance has been found to be very useful in MIS due to their extra degrees of freedom and high precision compared to a human hand. SMART Surgisol™ is also working on the development of a cost-effective MIS robot (SurgBot™), dedicated towards surgeon training purposes.
We have dedicated our research work to Al Zahrawi, one of the greatest medieval Arab surgeons Abu al-Qasim Khalaf ibn al-Abbas Al-Zahrawi (936–1013), who has also been referred to as the father of modern surgery by some.