The idea to take advantage of robots in medicine appeared in the late 1970s at the American space agency NASA. They were intended to be a part of the equipment of operating rooms on spaceships and space stations participating in the space exploration programmes. However, the first documented procedure was not performed until 1985 when an arm of an industrial robot was modified in order to perform brain biopsy with an accuracy of 0.05 mm.
The surgical robot in the world that was approved and cleared for common use in 1994 was the AESOP Robotic System which held and stabilised cameras during minimally invasive procedures. The next one was the ZEUS, a controlled, three-arm robot used in laparoscopic surgery. In 1998, it was used in the first fallopian tube reconnection and a beating heart coronary artery bypass graft. Almost at the same time, a mitral valve repair was performed as well as another coronary artery, using the new robot, da Vinci, which was commissioned by the Pentagon.