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)
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, 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.
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!
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.
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
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.