The world is at a critical point in time as it relates to the field of robotics. Here we stand on the precipice of a huge change in the way humans interact with the world and continue the day-to-day routines of life. Each day, innovative discoveries are being created which will push the world unavoidably in the direction where much of manual labor will be completed but machines or in other words robots. This ideology or concept, where the rise of artificial intelligence and the ultimate replacement of human workers is nothing novel.
It has been a concern since the age of technology which has recently become much more urgent roughly within the last couple of decades as machines become more and more capable of completing various kinds of tasks. Although the focus has been concentrated on factory workers and unskilled laborers plus the automation process, it was typically believed that high skilled careers such as surgeons would not be touched; this might not be the case anymore.
This probably the most ever-present of all the medical robots and the standard-setter for robot-assisted surgery. It is a robot that straddles the line between medical tool and robot as the DaVinci is constantly under the command and control of the surgeon; however, the innovations it has promoted are astonishing. Utilizing the DaVinci machine results in several types of operations being completed in a few small incisions and with paramount precision, which leads to reduced bleeding, quicker healing time, and a minimal chance of infection.
Even though this system has been in use for almost two decades, the advancements continue to improve, however, with big tech companies rapidly on the heels of the daVincias they seek to create similar tools that have a higher level of autonomy and a greater range of capabilities, who could predict what is next?
Actuated and Sensory Prosthesis
The prosthesis field has made such significant advancements within the past few years that the question is not so much now can humans create replacements limbs that are suitable for day to day tasks but rather could humans create something that is better than the original.
The scientists at the MIT Biomechatronics lab have developed gyroscopically actuated robotic parts which have the capability of tracking their own movement in three-dimensional space and amending their joints in excess of seven hundred times per second. What is more is that they have created bionic skins and neural implant systems which could interface with the nervous system, permitting the user to obtain feedback from the prosthesis and voluntarily control it, similar to an actual limb.
An endoscopy is a medical procedure in which a tiny camera that is attached to a long thin wire is inserted into the body via a natural opening in order to investigate for damage, traces of diseases, or foreign objects. The procedure is very uncomfortable and fragile and this could be a thing of the past. Novel advancements in the procedure through companies such as Medineering utilizing flexible, thin robots which could be controlled similar to a remote-controlled car to the precise location the surgeon requires.
The bot can then remain there steadily without the quavering of human hands and distribute several tools from anything like cauterizing a wound or performing a biopsy. What is even more remarkable are capsule endoscopies which break down the procedure to just swallowing of a pill-sized robot that travels along with the digestive system, collecting data and photographing parts of the system which could be sent in an instant to a processor for immediate diagnostics.
Orthoses also referred to as exoskeletons have to be used to assist paralyzed individuals to be able to walk again, which can only be described as a miracle. The orthoses could also be helpful in correcting malformations or providing rehabilitation after a spinal injury or brain injury by supplying weak muscles with the assistance they require in order to perform movements that could ultimately lead to damage healing. The majority of the exoskeletons work via a mixture of user participation and predetermined movements, however, with the advancements in neural interfaces, it is just time that stands in the way of direct mind-controlled exoskeletons.
Targeted Therapy Micro-Robot
Even though this is relatively new, it is considered a medical robot that shows great potential. Fundamentally, they are near-microscopic mechanical elements that are utilized to provide a drug or another type of therapy to a particular target region within the body. Such a tool could be used to supply radiation to a tumor directly, or even to decrease the side effects of the medicines by means of restricting it to the organ where it is required the most.
The most interesting thing in all of this is the way in which the elements are delivered to the targeted area. Various methods are possible; however, scientists have attached tiny helical tails to the micro-bots which would allow them to spin themselves through the blood vessels via magnetic fields to the desired location.
The regrettable truth is that hospitals are exceptionally filthy places. Individuals might go there for treatment, only to checkout with an entirely separate illness. As hospitals routinely manage massive amounts of antibiotics, they are still breeding grounds for the most extreme antibiotic-resistant bacteria known to man.
This is the reason that it is vitally important for hospitals to be clean, however, the cleaning does not have to be handled by humans that could inevitably make an error, when they are robots that could handle it. Present-day disinfecting robots move autonomously from room to room of discharged patients then attack the unoccupied room with high-powered ultraviolet rays for a period of time, enough to kill all living microorganisms.