If you thought ASTRO and NextSat
were the only two autonomous robots frolicking
around in testing environments, Raven would certainly beg to differ, as NASA
has recently announced that the University of Washington
's mobile surgical robot will soon be off to tackle surgical
tasks whilst underwater. The 12th NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations test will see the mechanical MD pick up the tools in a simulated spacecraft submerged near Key Largo, Florida, where the "mission will test current technology for sending remote-controlled surgical robotic systems into space." Thanks to a combination of wired and wireless networks, a trio of seasoned veterans back in Seattle will be dictating the movements remotely, as the bot attempts to "suture a piece of rubber and move blocks from one spindle to another." Interestingly, there was no word on whether Raven was scheduled to pick up the night shift at Seattle Grace upon its return from the depths.