WAUKESHA, WIS.— Students at Carroll University now have a full-size robot to enhance learning in physics and pre-engineering classes.
The 1,400-pound da Vinci robotic surgical system recently was donated to Carroll by ProHealth Care. It was the first da Vinci robot used by surgeons at ProHealth’s Waukesha Memorial Hospital and was used to perform heart and urology-related surgeries, hysterectomies and more than 300 prostate procedures.
Recently, new robots have been acquired, continuing the tradition of minimally invasive surgical options at Waukesha Memorial. After the original da Vinci robot was retired and replaced with newer technology, the hospital approached Carroll about a possible second life for the device in an academic setting.
“This is a wonderful addition to Carroll and to our applied physics/engineering program,” said Dr. Jane Hopp, dean of the College of Natural Sciences, Health Sciences, and Business. “Our longstanding partnership with ProHealth Care continues to provide unique opportunities for students.”
In physics and pre-engineering classes, and in labs, students will have the opportunity to use the robot to learn programming, electronics, and operation of the device. Under supervision, students also will be allowed to take the robot apart and put it back together, activities that will give them a much better understanding of how robotic devices work. In an advanced experimental physics class, the robot or parts of it will be incorporated into projects that students will work on by themselves or in groups.
Bret Kelso Ph.D., lecturer in engineering and physics, foreground, explains to Damon Resnick Ph.D., assistant professor of physics, how the da Vinci robot works.