Surgery Robot Is A Real Cut Up

A robot that performs surgery is a serious thing. One bug in the control system could end with disaster. Unless of course, you’re [Michael Reeves], in which case disaster is all part of the fun. (Video, embedded below.)

Taking inspiration from The da Vinci Surgical System, [Michael] set out to build a system that was faster, while still maintaining precision. He created a belt drive gantry system, not unlike many 3D printers, laser cutters, or woodworking CNC machines. Machines like this often use stepper motors. [Michael] decided to go with [Oskar Weigl’s] ODrive and brushless motors instead. The ODrive is on open source controller which turns off the shelf brushless motors — such as those found in R/C planes or hoverboards, into precision industrial servos. Sound familiar? ODrive was an entrant in the 2016 Hackaday Prize. [Michael] was even able to do away the ubiquitous limit switch by monitoring current draw with the ODrive.

It all adds up to a serious build. But this is [Michael “laser eye” Reeves] after all. The video is meant to be entertaining, with a hidden payload of education and inspiration. The fun starts when he arms the robot with a giant kitchen knife and performs “surgery” on a pineapple. If you want to know what happens when mannequins and fake blood enter the picture, then watch the video after the break.

Some of our readers might be put off by the presentation. But amidst all the jump cuts, [Michael] is throwing in a ton of useful information. An example would be the way he showed how his aluminum extrusion gantry crossbeam sagged and wobbled like a wet noodle once he loaded it with 10 lbs of hardware for the knife drive. Things would have much stiffer if he had designed the moving crossbeam on the shorter side of the gantry frame.

The final robot won’t be performing surgery on us any time soon, but it sure makes for a fun video. I’ve already shown this to a couple of medical professionals, and it gave them a much needed laugh after a rough day.

Thanks to [Matt] for the tip!

22 thoughts on “Surgery Robot Is A Real Cut Up

  1. “The final robot won’t be performing surgery on us any time soon, but it sure makes for a fun video. I’ve already shown this to a couple of medical professionals, and it gave them a much needed laugh after a rough day.”

    Play the board game Operation™ with it.

    1. That is just what our OR needed! I just happened to be in the OR on a robotic surgery when I came across this. The surgeon almost fell off his console laughing! My medical director said that she is going to tell the surgeons that his is all we can afford now. We needed a very good laugh!

    1. For sure, the aquatince is his roommate as he lives with OfflineTV, some sort of streamer group I believe.

      Mind if why you dislike Adobe / cloudflare? I can understand Adobe for some people, but cloudflare I can’t wrap my head around.

  2. Were it to be run a bit (for values of bit better described as lot) slower it might make a pretty good frame for mounting a 3D printing extruder. Definitely could work well for something with less precision needs like twirling around a spray paint gun near to an object you wish to coat. Those O-drive and brushless system coupled with the rails genuinely worked pretty well.

  3. HaD deleted my original comment, but i’d like to point out that Michael Reeves, while it appears he’s quite intelligent, is vulgar and loves to bully people. So, do your own research if you want but I cringe whenever I see his videos pop up. People think he’s quite funny well wait till you see him start attacking people.

    1. don’t misunderstand comedic play (like pursuing people with tazers or shouting at them nightmarenightmarenightmarenightmare and such) and normal behavior, don’t forget that most youtuber put on an act or exagerate their personality

    2. Perhaps it is *YOU* who should do a little research… the entirety of his channel is to be an “offensive shit” and “abuse” his audience… perhaps you don’t remember Don Rickles, Rodney Dangerfield and other comedic greats who engaged in similar antics to wide popularity… Do NOT mistake the “character” with the real person. Heck, even Keanu Reeves portrays outright bad-asses and yet is one of the nicest people in real life… If it makes you “cringe” then DON’T Watch it !!!

  4. I’ve always wondered how they they drive brushless motors without any encoders or hall sensors to maintain position like that. Kinda like they do in a brushless three axis gimbal. They must be using techniques similar to ODrive, but lots of googling does not give any useful easy to implement results. What am I missing here? How does the ODrive make the brushless motors to give precise control over the rotor position like a servo?

  5. Love the video but god damn I puckered up hard when he puts his arm in there while the girl was in control. Hoping he had a gag rubber knife or something for that bit.

    1. I was curious about that bit too – I don’t think it was a gag knife, but it does look like he stays on the back (blunt) side of the knife the whole time. Not exactly safe, but not as dangerous as being on the sharp side.

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