Cambridge, MA--The Black Falcon (no relation to Humphrey Bogart) earned its inventor, Akhil Madhani, the prestigious $30,000 Lemelson-MIT student prize. The Falcon, a teleoperated robotic surgical system, enhances the manipulative capabilities of surgeons performing endoscopic procedures. Madhani analyzed the mechanics of surgical tasks by examining dexterity issues as well as studying the mathematics of knot tying.
The system employs transmission mechanisms that minimize the size and complexity of the device. It will provide the surgeon with full 6-degree-of-freedom motion of a pair of miniature fingers deep inside the body. Madhani designed a control strategy that increase the dynamic range of the exertable forces by exploiting synergistic use of actuators. The device improves a surgeon's ability to manipulate tissue and to suture and tie knots. "The use of teleoperators will allow new procedures to be performed through small incision, reducing patient trauma," says Madhani.
The 29-year-old is currently involved in a collaborative effort with Dartmouth Medical Center that will culminate in surgical trials for the device. This is just one of five patents the winner has pending. Other inventions include: The Talon, a robotic wrist-and-hand system; a robotic head/eye system to study human and computer vision, and new software tools to design multi-limb mobile robots for hazardous clean-up and rescue tasks.
The Lemelson-MIT prize, open only to MIT graduating seniors and graduate students, seeks to recognize the nation's most talented inventors as well as to promote living role models in the fields of science, engineering, medicine and entrepreneurship. The award was established by Jerome and his wife at MIT in 1994.
In an age of globalization and rapid changes through scientific progress, two of our societies' (and economies') main concerns are to satisfy the needs and wishes of the individual and to save precious resources. Cloud computing caters to both of these.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.