Fruit fly surgeons tend to be few and far between. No one hears “Anu Aunty” the pushy Indian aunt bragging about her nephew, the world renowned fruit fly surgeon, though some have been heard bragging about their nephew, the Drosophila Melanogaster surgeon.
Actually, most fruit fly surgeons are graduate students, pressed to wield the scalpel and tweezers by pirate like professors pressuring them to “walk the plank or else.” Calling graduate students “humans” may also be a stretch in the eyes of full fledged tenured professors.
So while our expectations of human fruit fly surgeons may not be very high, nevertheless, when a robot can best a graduate student, it is significant. In fact, there is no contest: the new robot fruit fly surgeon can perform 1,000 fruit fly surgeries an hour while graduate students may process one or two.
The new robot fruit fly surgeon is the brain child of biologists and roboticists at Stanford University who were, at one time, no doubt, graduate students themselves.
The following video shows the technology and some surgeries in progress.