From Bomb Disposal to Painless Colonoscopies, These Precocious Partners Boldly Go Where Man Prefers Not To ?
In the foreseeable future, robots will stick steerable needles in your brain to remove blood clots, and capsule robots will crawl up your colon to reduce the pain of colonoscopies. “Bionic” prosthetic devices will help amputees regain lost mobility, and humanoid robots will help therapists give autistic children the skills to live productive lives. Specialized rescue robots will take an increasingly prominent role in responding to natural disasters and terrorist attacks.
These aren’t futuristic flights of fancy, but some of the research projects at Vanderbilt that are blazing the trail toward increased use of “smart” devices and robotics in surgery and a variety of other applications.
The growing capabilities of these complex electromechanical devices are the product of decades of basic research performed at a number of the nation’s top research universities, including Vanderbilt, and applied by high-tech companies that have incorporated advances in areas such as pattern recognition, motion control, kinematics and software engineering into products ranging from automated vacuum cleaners to bomb-disposal robots.