Surgeon Makes Tiny Plane with No Robotic Assist

Last week’s VOTW showed Dr. James Porter fashioning a teeny, tiny paper airplane with the help of a da Vinci surgical robot. We were first to admit that though the Da Vinci is an impressive piece of kit and definitely contributed to Dr. Porter’s miniature arts and crafts project, the skill of the surgeon at the helm is of paramount importance when using such a device.

Case-in-point: Our own Alan Dang saw the video and thought, “I can do that with less time, a continuous take and a pair of $1 disposable forceps.”

And he did! Because while Alan has provided us with many wonderful reviews over the years in his role as editor at Tom’s Hardware, by day (and night, and then day again), he’s also an orthopaedic surgeon. Check out his video response below:

Of course, we’re not going to stand around and argue that the da Vinci -- a robot that can offer patients less post-operative pain, a shorter hospital stay, less blood loss, faster recovery time and quicker return to normal daily activities -- is useless. Still, the Swedish Medical Center says that the paper airplane construction video demonstrates “how [da Vinci] gives surgeons greater surgical precision and dexterity over existing approaches.”  We’d say that as far as origami is concerned, existing approaches can give the da Vinci a run for its money.

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