Surgical robotics was only born three decades ago; however it has already spread out worldwide, resulting in systems that can provide less patient trauma and better medical outcome. In the near future, newly developed robotic systems may conquer even the most challenging fields - such as long distance telesurgery. While the master-slave (da Vinci type) robotic surgery practically means teleoperation from within the same room, NASA and other space agencies have long been focusing on its potential for long range applications. In the past decade, we have seen an amazing rise regarding the capability of surgical telepresence systems. Aiming to deploy telepresence technologies on a daily bases in the future, large communication latencies have to be dealt with. Telemedicine technologies offer a real solution to the climaxing problem of maintaining the quality of health care services in Europe. Radically new modeling techniques and algorithmic solutions have to be developed to make telemedicine more effective despite large communication delays. Besides appropriate manufacturing, adequate control strategies are required to ensure maximal effectiveness and safety. Currently leading teleoperated and hands-on systems have to solve major issues with system accuracy, force feedback and communication latency. Automated surgery is a technologically challenging area; it needs fine adaptation to the changing environment of the operating room. Modern control methods, such as model predictive control or soft computing alternatives are to be investigated in this paper, which are applicable to the problem of effective telesurgery. This technology could well find use in many other areas as well, from space exploration to remote mining and nuclear waste control.