Summary

■ Although humans are clearly superior to robots with regard to clinical judgment, decision-making, and flexibility, robots offer precision, stamina, strength, lack of tremor, and reproducibility.

■ Robotic surgery offers the benefit of minimally invasive surgery and laparoscopy.

■ Robots are revolutionizing urology, and urologists have been leaders in the development of an application of surgical robotics.

■ Robotic transurethral resection of the prostate is feasible.

■ Robotic system can assist needle placement during percutaneous renal surgery.

■ Robotic systems have been developed to overcome limitation and improve the benefits of conventional laparoscopy performed for challenging urologic procedures.

■ Surgeon-driven robots augment the manipulation capabilities of the physician above and beyond the surgeon's manual and visual capacity.

■ Voice-controlled commands are preferable to eye tracking or head tracking, which control motion in response to movements of the surgeon's head.

■ The da Vinci Surgical System is the most successful and most widely used surgeon-driven robot.

■ The robotic instruments used in the Zeus System closely resemble conventional surgical instruments.

■ Reduction of some surgery-related costs, remote patient management, enhanced surgeon skills, accuracy, and capability to perform challenging procedures are advantages of telesurgery.

■ Virtual reality might provide surgeons with optimal training environment.

■ Loss of haptic feedback and cost are the major shortcoming of contemporary robotics. Continued technological innovation and increased market competition could overcome such limitations.

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