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, 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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, 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.
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
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!