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The robotic breast examiner

Barb Dybwad
July 6, 2005
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Okay, all the 12-year-olds must now leave the room so we can have a civilized discussion about this breast examining robot that allows doctors to do sophisticated diagnostics from remote locations. It's controlled by a haptic glove whose fingers are each connected to a motion-sensing device. The operator's hand movements are measured, translated by a computer and sent to the artificial hand in order to mimic the doctor's movements. The robotic arm can also perform ultrasound at the same time — an advantage over the usual process in which the ultrasound and exam are performed separately. Unfortunately, tele-operated robots tend to have a problem with delay, so it may take years of clinical trials to develop a system reliable enough to be commercially viable.

[Thanks, William]


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