03/25/2012 09:33 am ET

Hand-Held Robot Performs Prostate Surgery

Add this to the list of things that robots are better at than humans: prostate surgery.

The BBC reports that Stuart Ellis of Manchester, England, became the first person in the U.K. to have his prostate removed by a hand-held robot.

A Stepping Hill Hospital representative told the BBC that the robot had "more flexibility than the human wrist" and was also more precise and quicker than a doctor.

"Being told you've been diagnosed with cancer is not a pleasant experience, but it's good to know something positive for other people is coming out of this," Ellis told the BBC.

Though Ellis was the first in his country to have a hand-held robot perform the procedure, a similar device has been used successfully in the past.

In 2008, the Telegraph reported that "Matilda the robot" performed successful prostate surgery on another Manchester man.

But Ellis' surgery was 95 percent cheaper than other robotic surgeries of its kind, according to the Independent. That makes hospital officials hopeful this kind of surgery will soon be able to help more people receive necessary surgery while keeping costs down.