This paper introduces the smart tissue anastomosis robot (STAR). Currently, the STAR is a proof-of-concept for a vision-guided robotic system featuring an actuated laparoscopic suturing tool capable of executing running sutures from image-based commands. The STAR tool is designed around a commercially available laparoscopic suturing tool that is attached to a custom-made motor stage and the STAR supervisory control architecture that enables a surgeon to select and track incisions and the placement of stitches. The STAR supervisory-control interface provides two modes: A manual mode that enables a surgeon to specify the placement of each stitch and an automatic mode that automatically computes equally-spaced stitches based on an incision contour. Our experiments on planar phantoms demonstrate that the STAR in either mode is more accurate, up to four times more consistent and five times faster than surgeons using state-of-the-art robotic surgical system, four times faster than surgeons using manual Endo360(°)®, and nine times faster than surgeons using manual laparoscopic tools.