back to article Boffins bring home the bacon as AI-powered robo-medic performs heart surgery on pigs

AI-trained autonomous robots have helped surgeons perform heart surgery on live pigs, according to research published in Science Robotics. A team of researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital in USA, Université de Strasbourg in France, and Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan, have built a robot to perform heart surgery …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge


    what are the ethics on eating your experimental subjects?

    Mmm... bacon...

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: So...

      > No pigs were harmed


      > The robotic catheter managed to navigate to the right position 79 times out of the 83 trials carried on five pigs

      In the 4 that failed, what was the clinical outcome?

      Very interesting, though, and I'm sure a fleshy human would find it hard to have that success rate on a beating heart

      1. The Mole

        Re: So...

        I was more wondering how it is compatible with the statement "They introduced weaknesses into the five porky patients' hearts,". Perhaps stabbing the pigs in the heart* happened before the operation - but that surely is worse than doing it whilst under aneasthetic.

        Corresponding numbers for a human surgeon would be interesting.

        I'm assuming in the other 4 cases the robot reached some sort of dead end and the human took over?

        * OK I'm sure they'd try putting it in a more medical way and perhaps it wasn't quite literally like that..

        1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

          Re: So...

          I'm assuming in the other 4 cases the robot reached some sort of dead end and the human took over?

          Yep. They called the butcher.

      2. DougS Silver badge

        "No pigs were harmed" but they were all sent on to pig heaven

        Call me crazy, but I consider being killed - no matter how nicely - as harm! Not that I have an ethical issue with this, but maybe the proper phrase should be "no pigs were made to suffer"...

  2. UKHobo


    a treatment finished off with a quality oinkment? hogwash

  3. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    The thin tube has to navigate through the intricate walls of the muscle to reach the aortic annulus, a small squishy ring that acts as an opening to the aortic valve

    Ahh making the technical terms accessible to us non mediacs

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Kudos to that effort

    Well done and congratulations.

    That said, I hope they'll have a 100% efficient version before I need it, and I hope even more that I'll never need it.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: Kudos to that effort

      I'd rather worry about getting eaten after the operation.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real question...

    Does this open up the possibility for self-harvesting, renewable bacon?

    Now there's a solution to global warming. Unless global warming could be harnessed for cooking the bacon too...

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