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 : Robotics, Automation & Control
New 'Box' Sterilizes Surgical Instruments

A mobile container from Rice University sterilizes surgical instruments in low-resource settings. The "Sterile Box," built into a standard 20-foot steel shipping container, houses a water system for decontamination and a solar-powered autoclave for steam sterilization.

News : Medical
NASA Adds Flywheel to Heart Pump Motor

When children are born with a missing heart ventricle, doctors can perform a Fontan surgical procedure; the operation creates a passive circulation network to replace the blood pumping function. Inefficiency in circulation, however, often increases over time. A heart pump motor, using NASA Glenn Research...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Origami-Inspired Devices Support Minimally Invasive Surgery

Brigham Young University (BYU) researchers have engineered new minimally invasive surgery concepts that eliminate the need for pin joints and other parts, instead relying on the deflection inherent in origami to create motion.

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Imaging System Features 'Optical Brush'

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab have developed a new imaging device that consists of a loose bundle of optical fibers; no lenses or protective housing are needed. Tight bundles of the fibers could yield endoscopes with narrower diameters.

News : Medical
Open-Source Laser Cutter Prints 3D Objects from Powder

Rice University bioengineering researchers have modified a commercial-grade CO2 laser cutter to create OpenSLS: an open-source, selective laser sintering platform that prints intricate 3D objects from powdered plastics and biomaterials.

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Adhesive Polymer Mimics Mussels

Purdue researchers have developed a mussel-mimicking adhesive polymer that is non-toxic to living cells. The synthetic material can be used in surgical and biomedical applications.

News : Medical
Soft Electronics Can Aid Robotic Movement

Scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland, say that their research into soft electronics for a new type of gripper can change the way robots can touch and pick up delicate objects like eggs and paper. This lightweight gripper could be incorporated into...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Open-Source Laser Fabrication Supports Cancer Research

Rice University bioengineers have reprogrammed a laser cutter to etch 50,000 microwells per hour. The open-source, low-cost method for making microwells could reduce the cost of mass-producing metastatic microtumors and therapeutic microtissues for screening and research.

Briefs : Robotics, Automation & Control
Keeping Prosthetic Legs from Tripping

Technology based on human reflexes can aid robotic legs.

While trips and stumbles leading to falls can be common for amputees using leg prosthetics, a new robotic leg prosthesis being developed at Carnegie Mellon University promises to help users recover their balance by using techniques based on...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Robotic Arm Supports Duchenne Patients

University of Twente engineers have developed the A-Gear: a robotic arm that supports the daily activities of people suffering from the muscular disease Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The first prototype, a body-connected support aid, can be worn under the clothing and support independent operation of the...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Antibiotic-Infused Implants Support Facial Reconstruction Recovery

A gel created by Rice University researchers delivers time-released antibiotics to ward off infection while a patient heals from facial reconstruction procedures. Porous polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) implants are filled with the gel and leach its protective antibiotic contents...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Snake Study Supports Bio-Inspired Robotics

A University of Cincinnati team has acquired a better understanding of how brown tree snakes lodge themselves in place during climbing. The resulting knowledge could lead to new bio-inspired robotic designs.

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Lightweight, Strong Metal Improves Energy Efficiency

Missouri University of Science and Technology researchers have created a lightweight but very strong structural metal that could improve energy efficiency in biomedical applications. The team mixed silicon carbide into a molten magnesium-zinc alloy that uniformly dispersed and stabilized the...

News : Medical
Robotic Endoscope Offers Better Way to Open Airways

A laryngoscope — invented in the late 19th century — or other intubation tools currently available require human visual guidance to open airways. A team at The Ohio State University developed a robot that intubates patients with greater accuracy.

Briefs : Medical
Surgical Probe Determines Where Tumors End

New tool uses light to image tissue in real time.

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Illinois has performed a clinical study comparing a new surgical tool that uses light to ensure that surgeons are completely removing cancerous tumors against traditional...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
'Pop-Up' Sensors Support Robotic Surgery

As complex robots replace hand-held scalpels, an increasing number of today's surgeries are being performed from behind a computer console. Researchers at Harvard University's John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have built...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Silicon Anodes Improve Lithium-Ion Batteries

Current lithium-ion batteries normally use graphite anodes. University of Waterloo researchers have created lighter, long-lasting batteries from silicon. The silicon anode materials have a much higher capacity for lithium and are capable of producing batteries with almost 10 times more energy.

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Tiny Lenses Magnify Large Fields of View

Drawing inspiration from an insect's multi-faceted eye, University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers have created tiny lenses with vast range of vision. An array of the miniature lenses — each no bigger than the head of a pin — can capture a panorama image covering a 170-degree field of view.

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Anti-Corrosive Coating Strengthens Steel

A new surface coating developed by researchers at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences make steel stronger, safer, and more durable. The new anti-corrosive and anti-fouling surface material, made from rough nanoporous tungsten oxide, repels any kind of liquid, even after...

News : Medical
Laser-Based Imaging Could Ensure Safer Brain Surgery

A stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscope currently being tested at the University of Michigan allows surgeons to quickly spot the difference between tumor tissue and normal brain tissue. Since June, the SRS microscope has imaged more than 60 patient samples from the operating room.

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
UV-Light Robot Reduces Hospital Infection Rates

New research from Penn Medicine infection control specialists found that ultraviolet (UV) robots helped reduce the rates of transmission of the common bacterial infection known as Clostridium difficile. The robots flash UV lights across a hospital room to lock onto DNA of organisms and kill...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Virtual Models Improve Aortic Aneurysm Treatment

Researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) have developed virtual models that can be used in angiography rooms to address aortic aneurysms and help medical professionals visualize the area being treated. To provide more personalized treatments, the new software...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Prosthetic Heart Valve Restores Blood Flow

VeloX, a prosthetic heart valve developed by National University of Singapore researchers, can be implanted through a small incision for the treatment of a serious heart valve disorder called mitral regurgitation. The device is particularly beneficial to patients who are of high surgical risk or are...

News : Medical
'Active' Technology Supports Multi-Material 3D Printing

The ability to integrate disparate materials and properties within printed objects is the next frontier in 3D printing. Harvard University researchers have designed new multimaterial printheads that mix and print concentrated viscoelastic inks, enabling simultaneous control of composition...

News : Medical
Smart Robot Finds Best Combinations for Cancer Treatments

A new research robot from Uppsala University engineers finds optimal treatment combinations for cancer treatments. The robotic system plans and conducts experiments with many substances, and draws its own conclusions from the results, according to Dr Claes Andersson, leading scientist in...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Ultrasonic Tool Cleans Medical Instruments

An ultrasonic technology developed by researchers from the University of Southampton removes contaminants from surgical steel. The StarStream device creates tiny bubbles which automatically scrub surfaces.

News : Medical
Femtosecond Laser Generates Ultra-Short Light Pulses

A laser created by a team at the University of Warsaw generates ultrashort pulses of light, even under extremely difficult external conditions like large temperature gradients of more than 120 degrees Celsius. The process of generating femtosecond laser pulses takes place within a specially...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Engineers Improve Sepsis Treatment Device

An improved blood cleansing device from Harvard University's Wyss Institute mimics the actions of the spleen. The sepsis treatment technology cleanses pathogens and toxins from blood circulating through a dialysis-like circuit.

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Researchers Give Simple Robotic Grippers More Dexterity

A simple robotic gripper created by engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) can adjust its hold using the environment. The team's model predicts the force with which a gripper must push against surrounding fixtures in order to adjust its grasp. The new approach allows...

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Computer-Based Platform Improves Facial Transplant Surgeries

Physicians and engineers at Johns Hopkins and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center have developed a computer platform that provides rapid, real-time feedback before and during facial transplant surgery. The achievement may someday improve face-jaw-teeth alignment between donor...

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