When doctors need to perform a coronary bypass, it typically involves cracking open the patient's chest and stopping all functions of the heart. From Waseda University in Japan comes a robot that could end the need for that second step, at least.
The surgical robot is so precise that it can actually account for the motions of a beating heart and still proceed with surgery — no small feat, considering the operations being performed require millimeters-long accuracy. Despite how handy a robot can be, though, the biggest barrier right now is the price of one of these 'bots, as well as the gross maintenance costs.
On the other hand, robotic surgical assistance and advancements in nanotechnology could result in surgeries where you don't have to get your chest cracked open ever again — instead leaving you with the tiniest of scars.