COLUMBUS, Ohio — Chad Bouton snapped awake at 5 a.m. He skipped coffee, threw some Clif Bars and water in a bag, and left his wife and children and robot at home. He ordered three Sausage McMuffins from a drive-up window. He steered toward the hospital. He entered the operating room at 6:15 a.m.
Bouton is a research engineer, not a doctor, and he worked with an engineer’s precision. By 7 a.m., he and his team had set everything up in the operating room and tested it — the computer with the secret algorithm, the uplink cable, the Wand. They were ready to go, right on time. As they had been told to expect, the patient was late. So they tested the equipment again.