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Intelligent micro-drill carefully delves through tissue

Darren Murph

While the idea of a robotic surgeon always makes us a bit weary, a new micro-drill crafted in the UK is earning its stripes (and the public's trust) the old fashioned way: by executing its duties without harming someone. The intelligent medical drill was developed by Peter Brett and colleagues at the University of Aston and David Proops, a surgeon at University Hospital Birmingham, and is "used to bore small holes in the side of a patient's head so that a surgeon can install an implant." Aside from being just slightly creeped out at that imagery, a surgical device that has worked perfectly in three actual operations demands respect, as the device has successfully allowed doctors to "give profoundly deaf patients cochlear implants." This device stands out due to its uncanny ability to sense pressure, torque, and force, and can automatically shut down if it feels it's going to pierce a membrane that shouldn't be punctured -- and for all you fellows who greatly prefer your hair over just about anything, we're sure the implant industry is already checking into it.

[Via NewScientistTech]

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