Imagine trying to do surgery in a zero-gravity environment. Bodily fluids flying everywhere, no table to sit surgical tools on. It would be an absolute nightmare.
This robot, if it works, would be an incredible feat of engineering. Small enough that it can slip into a small incision, preventing things flying everywhere, and able to work from inside the body in zero gravity, at least in theory.
Apparently they've successfully performed surgery on pigs, and are planning on zero-g testing in the near future.
I really can't express how awesome this is.
The miniature surgeon slides into the body through an incision in the belly button. Once inside the abdominal cavity – which has been filled with inert gas to make room for it to work – the robot can remove an ailing appendix, cut pieces from a diseased colon or perforate a gastric ulcer.