Robotics & Automation

Get an overview of the global medical robots market. Visit this Medical Design Briefs Robotics and Automation Hub to receive news, expert advice, and essential information – from the history of medical robots to the technologies of tomorrow.

News : Medical
Creating Custom Medical Implants with 3D Printers

A team of engineers at Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, has developed an innovative method of using off-the-shelf 3D printers and materials to fabricate custom medical implants that can contain antibacterial and chemotherapeutic compounds for targeted drug delivery.

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Disposable Biosensor Could Determine Feeding After Surgery

Following surgery, a physician generally listens to the abdomen of a patient for signs of digestion before allowing that patient to be fed, in order to avoid a condition called post-operative ileus, a malfunction of the intestines. Dr. Brennan Spiegel, a professor of medicine at the...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Preventing Fatal Blood Loss with Injectable Foam

In a combat situation, a wounded soldier can bleed to death quickly without prompt attention. But depending on where the injury is, like a deep wound at the neck, shoulder, or groin, traditional treatments, such as tourniquets, may not be able to staunch the blood loss. So, engineering students at...

News : Materials
Phase-Shifting Materials May Dramatically Improve Surgical Robots

A new phase-changing material built from wax and foam that’s capable of switching between hard and soft states could allow surgical robots to shape-shift and move through the body to reach a particular point without damaging any of the organs or vessels along the way, say...

News : Medical
New Tool Helps Guide Brain Surgery

A study conducted by Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, successfully used a new tool to help brain surgeons test and more precisely remove cancerous tissue during surgery.

News : Imaging
Touchless Technology in the OR

A collaborative team of UK scientists from the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University, along with Microsoft Research, Guy's Hospital, St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, and King's College London has done pioneering research in touchless technology for vascular surgery.

News : Medical
NASA Robot Inspires Exoskeletons and Rehabilitative Therapy

Robonaut, a human-like robot designed by NASA and General Motors, which was developed to serve astronauts in space, has been on the International Space Station since February 2011. Researchers have tested the robot’s ability to perform dull or dangerous tasks that free up human crew...

News : Medical
Elastic Technology Creates ‘Soft’ Machines

A team of engineers at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, say they have developed a technique that could produce “soft machines” made of elastic materials and liquid metals for potential applications in robotics, medical devices, and consumer electronics.

News : Medical
Making Laser-Like Beams with 250x Less Power

Using precarious particles called polaritons that straddle the worlds of light and matter, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, researchers have demonstrated a new, practical and potentially more efficient way to make a coherent laser-like beam. They say that their first-time polariton laser is fueled...

News : Materials
Introducing the Bionic Man

The NIH’s Bionic Man site helps viewers visually explore some of the latest bioengineering creations from research funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. From prosthetics to artificial kidneys, these technologies are changing lives now and in the future.

News : Imaging
Making Augmented Reality Easier on the Eyes

Augmented reality is quickly becoming more integrated into everyday usage, such as smartphone apps that can identify landmarks, constellations, and more. Head-worn goggles, like Google Glass can superimpose computer-generated images onto your direct view of the physical world. But, moving your eyes...

News : Medical
Super Fast Robotic Arm Catches Moving Objects

A robot developed by researchers at the at the Learning Algorithms and Systems Laboratory (LASA) at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland) can react on the spot, grasping flying objects thrown at it with complex shapes and trajectories in less than five hundredths of a...

News : Medical
Students Print Prosthetic Arm for Teen

Three biomedical engineering seniors in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, MO used a 3D printer to design and create a robotic prosthetic arm out of bright pink plastic for a teenage girl for a total cost of $200, a fraction of the price of standard...

News : Photonics/Optics
Endoscopic Microscope Can Detect Diseases Sooner

A biomedical engineer at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, has developed an inexpensive, endoscopic microscope that, he says, can produce real-time, high-resolution, sub-cellular tissue images. The fiber-optic device, which is portable, re-usable, and easily packaged with conventional...

News : Medical
New Lens Design Dramatically Improves Lithotripsy

A team of mechanical and materials engineers at Duke University, Durham, NC, have devised a way to improve the efficiency of lithotripsy—the crushing of kidney stones using focused shock waves. After decades of research, they say that all it took was cutting a groove near the perimeter of the...

News : Medical
New Surgical Guidance System for Minimally Invasive Surgery

A team of researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, has designed a computerized imaging process to make minimally invasive surgery more accurate and streamlined using equipment already common in the operating room.

News : Mechanical & Fluid Systems
Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump May Help Certain Heart Patients

Physicians at the Medical College of Georgia and Georgia Regents University, Augusta, say that the intra-aortic balloon pump, one of the most frequently used mechanical circulatory assist devices in the world may have untapped potential. One of its many uses is helping ensure adequate...

News : Medical
Student-Built Painting Robot Could Someday Aid Surgeons

Timothy Lee, a student at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, has built a robotic painting arm that can replicate the lines and shapes a surgeon makes with a scalpel using a paintbrush and canvas. His creative invention, a blend of art and science, could one day lend doctors a hand...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Using Lightwaves to Improve Brain Surgery

First-of-its-kind research being done at the Innovation Institute at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI, shows promise for developing a method of clearly identifying cancerous tissue during surgery on glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a tumor that attacks tissue around nerve cells in the brain.

Features : Medical
Developing and Commercializing the First Robotic-Assisted System for the Catheterization Lab

The path to innovation is often long and full of challenges. For Corindus Vascular Robotics, the journey to develop the CorPath Vascular Robotic System took 10 years and required overcoming several engineering challenges along the way. Now, a year after...

News : Medical
Sensitive Electronic Whiskers for Robotics

Researchers with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, say that they have created tactile sensors from composite films of carbon nanotubes and silver nanoparticles similar to the highly sensitive whiskers of cats and rats. These new e-whiskers respond to...

News : Medical
Monitoring Cerebral Pressure in Hydrocephalus

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS in Duisburg, Germany, have developed a sensor that can measure and individually adjust brain pressure if the pressure is too high in the brain of a patient with hydrocephalus, commonly known as “water on the...

News : Medical
Adhesive Shows How to Mend a Broken Heart

When babies are born with congenital heart defects, like a hole, time is of the essence to quickly and safely secure a device inside the heart. Sutures take too long and can cause damage to fragile heart tissue, and currently available adhesives are either too toxic or lose their sticking power in the...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotic Insertion of Needles and Catheters Developed

A robot, created by of a joint collaboration between researchers of the High School of Industrial Engineers of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) in Spain and the Gliatech S.L Company, can be used to guide precise insertion of needles and catheters. It has a hybrid powerstrain...

News : Medical
Biosensor Could Help Detect Brain Injuries During Heart Surgery

A team of engineers and cardiology experts at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Children’s Center have teamed up to develop a fingernail-sized biosensor that could alert doctors when serious brain injury occurs during heart surgery. By doing so, the device could help doctors...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotics Technology Advances Artificial Legs

Recent advances in robotics technology enables prosthetics that can dramatically improve the mobility of lower-limb amputees, allowing them to negotiate stairs and slopes and uneven ground, and significantly reducing their risk of falling, say a team of engineers at Vanderbilt University’s Center...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Building an MRI-Guided Robotic Heart Catheter

A team of researchers at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, have received a $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for its project to perfect the technology to steer a robotic catheter through the heart’s beating chambers using the push and pull of magnetic fields...

Briefs : Photonics/Optics
Plastic Optic Fiber—An Evolving Technology

Plastic Optic Fiber (POF) is an established, continually evolving technology available since the early 1980s. From the outset, it was a technology not highly visible for years. At times, it was utilized as a media product within another product, attached to a variety of opto-couplers or light sources....

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Providing Surgical Robots with New Intelligence

Providing surgical robots with a new type of machine intelligence to make them easier and more intuitive for surgeons to operate is the goal of a major new five-year grant from the National Science Foundation given to a collaboration of research teams at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN;...

News : Medical
Surgically Treating Vertebral Fractures Proves Safer and Cheaper

According to a study of 69,000 Medicare patient records led by researchers at The Johns Hopkins Hospital's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Spine Outcomes Research Center, people with spine compression fractures who undergo operations to strengthen back bones with cement...

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