Six patients risked permanent blindness by undergoing eye operations in which surgeons were assisted by robots for the first time.
Experts who held the world trial in the UK this month called the breakthrough "a huge leap forward" after the robots helped steady the surgeons' movements.
The patients were allocated robot-assisted surgery while a further six had standard manual surgery in the test at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
But researchers said the surgeons were able to perform the delicate procedures with "equal or better efficacy" using the robotic machine.
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