Abstract: Introduction: While autonomous surgical robotic systems exist primarily at the research level, recently these systems have made a strong push into clinical settings. The autonomous or semi-autonomous control of surgical robotic platforms may offer significant improvements to a diverse field of surgical procedures, allowing for high precision, intelligent manipulation of these systems and opening the door to advanced minimally invasive surgical procedures not currently possible. Areas covered: This review highlights those experimental systems currently under development with a focus on in vivo modeling and control strategies designed specifically for the complex and dynamic surgical environment. Expert review: Novel methods for state estimation, system modeling and disturbance rejection, as applied to these devices, continues to improve the performance of these important surgical tools. Procedures such as Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery and Laparo-Endoscopic Single Site surgery, as well as more conventional procedures such as Colonoscopy, serve to benefit tremendously from the development of these automated robotic systems, enabling surgeons to minimize tissue damage and shorten procedure times while avoiding the consequences of laparotomy.

Prendergast, J.M., Rentschler, M.E., "Towards Autonomous Motion Control in Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery," Expert Review of Medical Devices. 13(8): 741-748, 2016.

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