UCLA mechanical and aerospace engineering professor Jacob Rosen’s surgical robotic system, called RAVEN, was recently featured on the NBC medical drama “Heartbeat” during the episode “The Land of Normal,” which aired April 20. Rosen also has faculty appointments in UCLA’s department of engineering and the medical school’s department of surgery.
RAVEN is a surgical robotic system designed for minimally invasive surgery. It has been developed and studied over the past 15 years. It was originally funded by the U.S. military as a system that can be deployed in a hospital operating room setup as well as an operating room located in harsh environment such as a desert or underwater.
“Heartbeat” is a medical drama centered on a heart surgeon who struggles to balance her personal and professional lives. The show is simultaneously realistic and futuristic and was in need of a research platform that retains both qualities as well, making RAVEN the the perfect fit. Postdoctoral researcher Ji Ma, a member of Rosen&rsquos Bionics Lab, was on set during filming to instruct the actors and producers how to use RAVEN, but it is an intuitive system and does not require a surgeon to operate it.
RAVEN was also featured in the 2013 movie, “Ender’s Game.”