April 9, 2018

Good Samaritan Medical Center Hosted Bridgewater Raynham Robotics Club

Team given hands-on da Vinci Robotic Surgical System experience
Students from the FIRST TJ2 Team 88 Robotics Club at Bridgewater Raynham Regional High School recently visited Good Samaritan Medical Center for an opportunity to learn about the da Vinci Robotics Surgical System which is used in the Good Samaritan Medical Center Operating Room by eight robotically trained surgeons.
Representatives from Intuitive, the creators of the da Vinci System, brought a traveling robot to the hospital to allow the 23 students a hands-on experience and to learn about the mechanics and evolution of this particular surgical instrument.
Vikas Merchia, MD, Uro-Gynecologist, Good Samaritan Medical Center, spoke to the group about how robotics has changed his approach to surgery before offering a demonstration.
“The system is a tool which allows me greater precision while operating,” said Dr. Merchia. “We deal with complex cases that if operated on using traditional open or laparoscopic surgery would result in greater pain and longer recovery times. The robot offers an advanced method of operating so I can give my patients the best possible results.”
The 23 year-old Robotics Club is part of the New England District of FIRST Robotics called NEFIRST and recently competed and won at the WPI NE District Event and the South East MA Event held in March. The team has been cited as captains of the winning alliances and for team spirit, as well as quality for robot design and performance. The team is currently ranked 4th in New England and has qualified for the New England District Championship this month. The team hopes to qualify for the FIRST World Robotics Championship in Detroit at the end of April.
“We show students the fun that they can have in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM) by involving them in a highly charged and competitive robotics game,” said Elizabeth Calef, BRRHS Science Dept. Chair and FIRST TJ2 Team 88 Robotics Coach. “We have them work side by side with mentors that are STEAM professionals to gain an idea of what life would be like for them in these careers. This encourages students to take the challenging STEAM courses that will prepare them for their future.”
“We are so thankful to all the support we receive from community businesses like Good Samaritan. The time and effort the hospital staff put into this opportunity for our students to talk to doctors that use robotics in practice and for the students to actually get to use the robot is an experience they will never forget. Experiences like this are what can determine a life path for a student.”
Each student was given the opportunity to have their performance on the robot simulation scored with seven members of the team scoring 100%.