Linux in a surgeon?

Recently you’ve read about Linux in computers, servers, cell phones, Playstation 3, and the Nintendo Wii. But did you know about Linux being put into a surgeon? The Oct 2006 issue of Spectrum includes a story about a team designing a robotic surgeon to allow a human surgeon to do surgery from afar. The thought is for them to deploy this in the battlefield so that doctors don’t have to be at risk of dying and to obviate the long flight to a safe base for surgery. Why did they choose Linux? Well, since they were designing something revolutionary, there probably weren’t Windows drivers for controlling a robotic surgeon. With Linux being open-source, they could see how it works and easily write device drivers for their robot. One reads a lot about stuff like this – experimental robots and automated vehicles tend to use Linux. Of course, it also is available for free and doesn’t require registration for activation. Finally, you can scale it back to just the kernel and what you need instead of the whole gargantuan OS – as in the case of Windows.