Tiny origami folded with telesurgery equipment


Watch this surgeon fold a tiny origami crane (wingspan smaller than a diameter of a penny) using the DaVinci telesurgery system. I like the way the surgeon's "style" is transmitted to the robotic arms. (via Pink Tentacle)


  1. That’s pretty damn cool.

    When I was in 5th grade, our teacher taught us to fold paper cranes, in an effort to make a thousand of them in one month. We each had to do around 75 cranes. I became obsessed. I used to do these series where I’d take a piece of rectangular paper, make a square (cut the edge off), make a crane, and then make a square from the left over paper and make a crane, and so on.

    Smallest one I ever made fit on my pinky nail, wingtip to wingtip. And I didn’t use anything but my fingers. I don’t know how I did it, because I can’t make one smaller than a quarter now without a toothpick or something.

  2. Great, now it’s only a matter of time before plastic surgeons start doing “skin origami” body art.

    Seriously, this is pretty cool.

  3. Sweet. Smallest one I ever made was with a square from a Rizla paper. Wings flapped on it as well.

  4. very cute raptor,Jacob. You should make some prey for it,complete with teeny entrails to yard out.

  5. It’s cool that they did it with the telesurgery equipment, but…It’s not all that small. I’ve folded the prototypical crane that same size myself (and I do not have small hands). It was kicking around my monitor here at work, but well, I’ve lost it (it’s small damn it).

  6. So… I assume the system can record his movements and speed them up, then churn out 1,000 tiny cranes in, like, ten minutes?

  7. I had a friend who would fold cranes using needles. The smallest one I saw was probably half this size. Waaaay too much time on his hands.

  8. Excellent! This is for me! I must have this equipment, since I’m an adult surfing the web with my fat fingers, I cannot make these tiny origami stuffs I made a long time ago.
    Where do I sign?

  9. I know someone who folds paper boats this size and smaller by hand. Admittedly that’s a simpler fold, but I’m not convinced that the telesurgery tools aren’t actually better than fingers on this scale.

  10. Dear Mousewrites

    Cranes for the sick do work. The expression on the face of the recipient makes that clear. They may not cure cancer, but they do reassure in the loneliest time.

  11. I’ve never seen telesurgery tools in action before. I had no idea they worked so smoothly. If I had a set of those I think I’d pass on the origami and go for the gusto. How about using those tiny hands to make a _really_ tiny set of hands?

  12. These systems aren’t currently set up for telesurgery (unless by “tele” you mean ten feet away).

    The advantage over regular laparoscopic surgery is that both the manipulation and vision are far more intuitive, especially when doing a procedure that requires awkward angles to access the organs in question.

    You’ve got a stereoscopic view set up such that looking down at your arms you’re suddenly Edward Forcepshands. There are a couple of little many-degree-of-freedom joystick things that your thumbs and index fingers go into to control the wrists and forceps, with force feedback no less.

    The cool thing about this demo is it could have been done by someone with maybe ten minutes of experience on the machine.

    Obviously the things are pretty pricey, so they are used primarily for things that would otherwise require invasive surgery, such as prostatectomies. Something like a gallbladder would still come out with regular laparoscopic techniques.

  13. A student at the high school in japan where I work gave me one just slightly larger that she did with her bare hands.

  14. My daughter used to fold them from Starburst candy wrappers. Flapping wings and all.

  15. What they didn’t mention, however, was that the crane died on the table despite all of this fancy technology.

  16. that’s pretty cool but i actually made one smaller than this when i was a little kid. still have it too!

  17. Yes, we all love to hear about your tiny origami birds that were even smaller than this, but can you fold one while inside someone’s abdominal cavity? I beat none of you have even tried!

  18. #23 :)

    Next – surgeons use telesurgery tools to make tiny origami telesurgery tools.


  19. Me too
    Like smaller than my pinky nail
    I like flapping them
    But I think the point of this video is how easy it is to operate this robotic arm so accurately.
    It’s normally hard to use these
    much harder than using your hands directly.

  20. i am in ripleys beleive it or not for the smallest crane made by only hand and it is 2mm small and i am only 11

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