Good point, Ann. So the surgeons need to know how to use the tool, but they don't need to know the technology behind the tool. The surgeons don't need to become robotics experts, and the engineers don't need to become surgeons.
Rob, I don't think surgeons are any different from the rest of us in this regard. Like typical end users, surgeons don't need to learn the technology behind the tools, just like most of us don't need to learn the tech behind driving a car or sending an email on a portable computing device.
Thanks, mrdon. BTW, there's a typo in that link. It should be
http:spectrum.ieee. org/automation/robotics/medical-robots/using robots-to-train-the-surgeons-of-tomorrow
I love the idea--surgeons originally helped engineers devise surgical robotic tools. Now those robots, in turn, help train surgeons.
Hi Ann, Carol Reiley is a young surgical roboticist who runs a website called TinkerBelle Labs. Here's an excellent paper on using robots to train surgeons of tomorrow she co-authored.
Jack, You can see why it is called Robot Assist. It makes for more precise motion and consistent movements than a human surgeon can create on their own. The gaming part is interesting because it shows how important user interfaces are becoming -- a layer of software that is removing the complexities for the user. Good stuff.
I agree, apresher, that the precise control is extremely valuable. It also takes some of the fear away that a super-star surgeon could lose his job over a relatively minor (for the rest of us) injury to the hands.
Funny you should mention video gaming, I used to work with large mobile industrial equipment. About 5-8 years ago there was a suggestion that they could be controlled with off-the-shelf gaming controllers. I imagine that they would have lasted about one day in that environment, though.
Don't be too sure about cooperation. A friend of mine works for a hospital that does heart surgery. Two of the surgeons refuse to discuss the statistics of their surgeries with anyone without MD after their name. An arrogance that stifles any kind of improvement.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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