Just as computers revolutionized the latter half of the 20th century, the field of robotics has the potential to equally alter how we live in the 21st century. We've already seen how robots have changed the manufacturing of cars and other consumer goods by streamlining and speeding up the assembly line. We even have robotic lawn mowers and robotic pets. And robots have enabled us to see places that humans are not yet able to visit, such as other planets and the depths of the ocean.

In the coming decades, we will see robots that have artificial intelligence, coming to resemble the humans that create them. They will eventually become self-aware and conscious, and be able to do anything that a human can. When we talk about robots doing the tasks of humans, we often talk about the future, but the future of robotic surgery is already here. Are we really ready for machines to take the place of human doctors in the operating room?

In this edition of How Stuff Will Work, you will learn about surgical robots that have been or will be approved for use in operating rooms. We will also take a look at the advantages and benefits that robotic surgery will have over conventional surgical methods.