Robotic technology, developed in part by DARPA, has escalated in health care during the past decade. While robotics involve the use of robots or robotic devices for tasks such as cleaning or lifting, robotic surgery involves the surgeon using a console to operate remote-controlled robotic arms and surgical tools. Majority of the robotic surgery procedures are laparoscopic procedures or open surgical procedures and these procedures are now relatively commonplace in most pediatric centers. As in adults, feasibility and safety of robotic surgery in children still need to be assessed. New horizons for robot-assisted therapy include rehabilitation and even wearable exoskeletons for handicapped children as well as social robots for psychosocial purposes.
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- Van Haasteren G et al. Pediatric Robotic Surgery: Early Assessment. Pediatrics 2009; 124(6): 1642-1649.