Howard Choset describes how his surgical ‘snake’ robots save lives by providing minimally invasive repairs and diagnostics without the need for risky, open surgery.

‘Snake’ robots thread through the body to places that other tools cannot reach, explains Howard Choset in the above video. The snakes are rigid in that they hold their shape, but are flexible enough to wind around parts of the body.

Three operations have been successfully carried out with the robots. In one case, the patient went home the next day following a procedure which would normally have involved a two-week stay in hospital.

Howard Choset is a Professor at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University.