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American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons

Advocacy, Education, Research

What Patients are Reading: Dr. Bargar’s Robodoc Added to Smithsonian

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The prototype of the first robotic surgical system that is now part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History began with the research efforts of AAHKS member William L. Barger, MD and his University of California, Davis colleague, Howard “Hap” A. Paul, DVM. In the 1980s, they identified a need for improving care for hip and knee replacement surgeries. After much research on canine and human patients, they collaborated with IBM in 1986 and eventually developed the first prototype – calling it “Robodoc.” Newsweek covered the story in 1992.

According to the Smithsonian Magazine, “In November 2016, the National Museum of American History officially inducted the Robodoc into its permanent science and medicine collections. The 72-year-old Bargar, who was present at the dedication ceremony, calls the donation to the Smithsonian a ‘capper’ to his career. ‘It’s a tremendous honor. It’s probably the biggest accomplishment of my life,’ he says.” Full story.

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