Vandegrift High School’s Engineering, Biomedical and Computer Science classes got a hands-on look at the da Vinci Surgical robot Monday, Oct. 22.

The robot is used by a surgeon using a computer console to control very small instruments and a high-resolution camera attached to robotic arms.

Students interacted with the robot firsthand, sitting in the controller seat usually occupied by the surgeon and controlling the robotic arms while participating in a ring toss game and using the foot pedals to alternate the controlling arm and to change settings of the light probe.

They also spoke with physicians from Baylor Scott & White Clinic – River Place and dug deeper into how the da Vinci Surgical System, also known as robotic surgery, represents a major breakthrough in minimally invasive surgical capabilities. It is available as an alternative to traditional open and laparoscopic surgeries in areas including colon and rectal, general surgery, gynecology, hip and knee, thoracic and urology.