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Slideshow: Robotic Medical Assistants
12/4/2012

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The Rex Exoskeleton lets people with impaired mobility (such as those confined to wheelchairs) stand up and walk. Patients use a control pad and a joystick to control 29 onboard processors that determine their balance and leg movements. The exoskeleton consists of a set of leg braces, straps, and a harness, all powered by a battery pack. With their hands free, users can stand, sit, turn, and walk on flat surfaces, slopes, and stairs. A fully charged battery pack allows walking for up to two hours. The exoskeleton, made by Rex Bionics of New Zealand, weighs 84 pounds (38kg). (Source: Rex Bionics)
The Rex Exoskeleton lets people with impaired mobility (such as those confined to wheelchairs) stand up and walk. Patients use a control pad and a joystick to control 29 onboard processors that determine their balance and leg movements. The exoskeleton consists of a set of leg braces, straps, and a harness, all powered by a battery pack. With their hands free, users can stand, sit, turn, and walk on flat surfaces, slopes, and stairs. A fully charged battery pack allows walking for up to two hours. The exoskeleton, made by Rex
Bionics of New Zealand, weighs 84 pounds (38kg).
(Source: Rex Bionics)

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Mydesign
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Robots in Super Speciality Hospitals
Mydesign   12/4/2012 6:04:55 AM
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Ann, yes you are right. Now a day's in super specialty hospitals robots are using in surgical rooms for assisting doctors for carrying out surgery and pre-post operative procedures. But one thing we have to remember is all the operations of such robotics are pre programmed one and they have no logical or analytical thinking like human brains.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Robots in Super Speciality Hospitals
Ann R. Thryft   12/4/2012 11:51:51 AM
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Yes, these are definitely not autonomous robots, or even partially autonomous. They're all either directly or remotely controlled.

Mydesign
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Re: Robots in Super Speciality Hospitals
Mydesign   12/6/2012 10:42:54 PM
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Ann, you are right. As of now robots are assisting the surgeons and nurses for carrying out certain task in surgical room and they won't capable to handle any task independently. But no doubt, in future they can with little bit of analytical and fuzzy logic.

Cabe Atwell
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Re: Robots in Super Speciality Hospitals
Cabe Atwell   12/7/2012 6:37:47 PM
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What robotics has done for the medical industry in unprecedented. When I saw a medical robot alter someone's eye to correct the vision without human interaction, I was blow away. And that was almost 8 years ago.  The da'vinci robot is another example, aiding doctors to be more precise and controlled. Shakey hands are a worry of the past. Watch some of the da'vinvi robot videos on youtube, and you will agree. More robots are needed.

C

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Robots in Super Speciality Hospitals
Ann R. Thryft   12/10/2012 12:56:01 PM
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I have really mixed feelings about independent robotic surgeons. The creepy/scary factor is pretty high (maybe we've all watched too many horror movies...). But I think Cabe and Mydesign are right.

Mydesign
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Re: Robots in Super Speciality Hospitals
Mydesign   12/10/2012 10:21:45 PM
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Ann, as of now robotic assisted procedures are widely accepted in most of the super specialty hospitals. But when it comes for a fully robotic done procedure without a human (Doctor) intervention, peoples may get little bit sacred about it (mindset). Eventhough error chances are less in procedure done by robotics; people always have a fear to opt for that.

RICKZ28
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Re: Robots in Super Speciality Hospitals
RICKZ28   12/20/2012 4:52:19 PM
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A few months ago, my wife had internal surgery with the surgeon using the da Vinci Surgical System.  Instead of one week in the hospital to recover, she was out in one day...in fact she was in no post-op pain by the time she left the hospital.

Of course when the doctor told us in advance that the da Vinci Surgical System would be used, we investigated.  The cost of the machine is about $1.5 million each, and made in California.

Read and watch the videos to find out more about the robotic surgical system.

da Vinci Surgical System website:  http://www.mivipdavinci.com/da-vinci-si-surgical-system.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=da-vinci-surgical-system-phrase&utm_campaign=mivip-da-vinci-los-angeles-ca-gst&_vsrefdom=p.3499

YouTube overview:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7m8FEuwiChw

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Robots in Super Speciality Hospitals
Ann R. Thryft   1/22/2013 12:12:58 PM
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Rick, thanks for sharing your wife's experience. We keep hearing that robotic-assisted surgery helps speed accuracy and healing--DN has covered the daVinci system several times--but it's hard to know how much of that's hype or reality.

GTOlover
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Re: Robots in Super Speciality Hospitals
GTOlover   12/5/2012 1:22:10 PM
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Tools, tools, tools. The use of robots, using highly engineered and very small tools, allow the surgeon to do his work with very tiny incisions. They are not meant (at least in the current iterations) to replace the human doctor, the human thinker, or the human controller. What these surgical robots do best is work very precisely in a very confined space. Even the most skilled surgeon is limited by the size of his hands and fingers.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Robots in Super Speciality Hospitals
Ann R. Thryft   12/11/2012 1:38:25 PM
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GTOlover, I totally agree. There's a place for humans and a place for robots, and I'm not at all sure the twain should ever meet when it comes to surgical procedures.

naperlou
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Creepy, yet nice
naperlou   12/4/2012 1:50:00 PM
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Ann, the idea of robots operating on one is somewhat creepy.  On the other hand, they can be very consistent and accurate.  If you have a good surgeon who makes you feel comfortable, then it is nice.  This is not always the case, though. 

It looks like we are moving toward the medibots from Star Wars.  That will be interesting.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Creepy, yet nice
Ann R. Thryft   12/4/2012 2:46:03 PM
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Lou, I'm with you--the idea of autonomous robots operating on oneself is very creepy indeed. Personally, I'm glad we're not yet at the stage of the Star Wars medibots.

Morris
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Re: Creepy, yet nice
Morris   12/5/2012 4:39:02 PM
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The unsettling thought comes when you want to ask your surgeon what operating system the robot uses, but then you decline to ask, realizing you really don't want to know.

The da Vinci Surgical System fits into the category of machines featured in the slideshow, and has numerous advantages over conventional surgery.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Creepy, yet nice
Ann R. Thryft   12/5/2012 4:57:07 PM
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Morris, what a terrifying thought--but it also gave me a laugh. Let's hope it's not Windows... We've written about the da Vinci system several times on the DN site, including our earlier medical robot slideshow: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=240513

Charles Murray
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Re: Creepy, yet nice
Charles Murray   12/4/2012 6:42:38 PM
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The exoskeleton is an idea whose time has come. Although the one pictured here weighs 84 lbs, I could imagine it weighing one-fourth of that in ten years.

Marketing@Farm
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Robotic product development
Marketing@Farm   12/5/2012 12:28:58 PM
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It is interesting to see the comments here & to see just how far we've come in developing robotic medical assistants.

Farm (http://www.farmpd.com) has worked on a few of the technologies highlighted here (Mako Surgical & Corindus)! These technolgies are improving patient outcomes by reducing procedure time while increasing surgical accuracy and precision. We attribute these developments to an increased awareness and focus on human factors engineering and usability!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Robotic product development
Ann R. Thryft   12/5/2012 1:25:38 PM
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Marketing@Farm, thanks for the input from people working to productize some of this amazing technology and develop it further. Your company's work on the MAKO robotic arm looks especially interesting.

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