The robotic device. (Credit: George Jenkinson)

A robotic device applies very specific forces over a range similar to forces used by human examiners and detects lumps using sensor technology at larger depths than before.

The device could change how women monitor their breast health by giving them access to safe electronic CBEs, located in easily accessible places, such as pharmacies and health centers.

The researchers created their manipulator using 3D printing and other computerized numerical control techniques and employed a combination of laboratory experiments and simulated experiments on a fake (silicone) breast and its digital twin.

The simulations allowed the team to perform thousands of palpations and test lots of hypothetical scenarios such as calculating the difference in efficiency when using two, three, or four sensors at the same time. In the lab, they were able to carry out the experiments on the silicone breast to demonstrate the simulations were accurate and to experimentally discover the forces for the real equipment.