Skip to comments.Robot hand performs remote breast checks
Posted on 07/05/2005 10:45:05 AM PDT by StuLongIsland
Robot hand performs remote breast checks
Life-saving breast examinations could soon be performed by a robotic hand that combines ultrasound with an artificial sense of touch.
The robotic breast examiner was devised by researchers at Michigan State University in the US. They say it will enable a medical specialist to examine women from a remote location, perhaps even from the other side of the world.
"Just because youre located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or even Botswana, it doesnt mean you cant have a sophisticated diagnostic or therapeutic procedure," says Carol Slomski, a surgeon at Michigan State University, who helped design the system.
The robot hand is remotely controlled by means of a haptic "glove", in which each finger is connected to a motion-sensing device. The operator's hand movements are then measured and sent via a computer to the artificial hand, which almost instantly mimics the operator's moves.
Advantageous combination The robotic grasper also measures the consistency of objects in its grasp by means of feedback to its motors. And this tactile information is fee back to the mechanical glove giving the wearer an artificial sensation of touch.
The arm also incorporates an ultrasound sensor as well as three video cameras, to give the expert a good view of the procedure.
"Having the capability of ultrasound and palpation simultaneously is a major advantage," adds Ranjan Mukherjee, another member of the Michigan team. "Often the ultrasound and exam are done separately. But if the physician can look at the image and feel what he or she is seeing, thats another huge advantage."
Data delay Mukherjee says the next stage is to conduct clinical trials, which should show how reliable the system is. But he believes it could be five years before the system becomes commercially available.
However, some experts are doubtful that such a system would work in practice. "Tele-operated robots have a big problem with delay," says William Harwin, at the University of Reading in the UK, and the sensitivity of touch is not as good.
He suggests a better way to perform remote examinations is to perform the data gathering and expert analysis one after the other. "A more realistic model in principal is to gather data from the remote site, under direction from the clinical base," he explains, and then transfer it the remote expert, who could then use virtual reality tools to interpret it.
Just a thought when I read this.
Dear God, don't let Bubba find out about this.
Does the Mitten look down on the Yoopers or what?
Well, there goes my reason for entering medical school...
OMG, do you realize the potential this has for an x-rated virtual reality experience? I claim copyright of the idea, right here, right now by virtue of the timestamp of this posting. Woo hoo!
Is remote groping like remote viewing?
I gotta paint myself silver and head to the girls college asap!
Oh, sure, a robot hand can get away with it, but try it in person and they start screaming about police, and restraining orders and such....
Not that that's happened to me, mind you....a friend of mine...yeah...it happened to a friend of mine.
I couldn't help thinking while reading this that this thread is going to get all kinds of "interesting" replies.
This, along with teledildonics, will revolutionize the online porn industry. Ain't technology wonderful! :)
Just hold still dear.
Too late. The next step - version 2.0 - will be fully robotic Bubba.
They have found a way to stop you from volunteering to work as a breast cancer screener.
Uhhh...I dont want that thing touching my nads.
I have always said that Robots will eventually take all of the good jobs.
Ewww... the "Electro-Grope" system...
There's no way that this could substitute for an experienced doctors exam (or a thorough exam by the owner of the breast). Robots don't get that intuitive flash that tells someone something is wrong even when it feels "sort of okay".
Oh, to become a robot!
I think that robot was previously used in a Tropicana juice processing plant. Hopefully there is a dial on it to adjust the "squeeze force".