Now, the technology is increasingly turning up in hospitals alongside doctors, radically changing the future of surgery.
Saima Mohsin travels to Eindhoven in the Netherlands to meet a team based at Technische Universiteit which has robots that help surgeons carry out complex eye surgery.
The system uses robotic arms that translate the surgeons large movements into precise incisions, whilst also allowing the surgeon to feel the force of his or her actions.
The technology - which could greatly reduce the risk of damaging the eye - could be found in hospital operating theatres within the next five years.
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