Internet reviews

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 1 December 2004




Rigelsford, J. (2004), "Internet reviews", Industrial Robot, Vol. 31 No. 6.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Internet reviews

Keywords: Medical robotics, Internet, Surgery robots

The article “Bug-driven robots to administer drugs” can be found on the BBC Web site. It provides an overview of how researchers in the US and Europe have simulated nanotechnology “submarines” that deliver drugs to particular areas of the body and use micro-organisms to transport them.

Renaissance Technologies and MicroTEC are two companies reported to be working in this field. journal/vol4/ao2/report.htmlTechnology and clinical applications

This Webpage presents a SURPRISE 96 survey on medical robotics. It forms a part of the site for the Department of Computing at Imperial College, London.

The report explains the possible uses of robotics in medicine and focuses on robotic applications in surgery. It clearly explains the important points and discusses subjects including surgical planning, registration of robot to patient (data correlation), robotic execution of procedure, telesurgery, and safety in surgical and rehabilitation robots.

Overall, this is a good introductory site that is well worth visiting. Press Release

This paper released by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe provides details of the global demand for robotics. It describes how the economic slow-down in 2002 affected the robot business and provides a forecast for 2003-2006. The paper also discusses changes in the industrial and service robot sectors. Surgical

Intuitive Surgical is a leader in operative surgical robotics. The da Vinciw Surgical System helps provide the flexibility of traditional open surgery during minimally invasive operations. This helps reduce patient trauma, post-operative pain, risk of infection, scarring and surgical complications.

The da Vinciw Surgical System was the first operative surgical robotic system in the world cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and can be used for performing surgical procedures including: general laparoscopic surgery, thoracoscopic (chest) surgery, laparoscopic radical prostatectomies, and thoracoscopically assisted cardiotomy procedures. German Aerospace Centre – medical applications of robotics

Work by the German Aerospace Centre has produced various spin-offs related to medical robotics. These relate to minimal invasive surgery (MIS), heart surgery, and radiology. They include: a new generation of sterilizable forceps, sensorized forceps, real time visual tracking system for a robot camera assistant, teleconsulation system for gastroscopy and laparoscopy, haptic Interfaces for the KISMET surgery trainer, FEM simulation of deformable objects for virtual surgery, a left ventricular assistant system, and volume data fusion and rendering using three-dimensional textures.

This is part of an excellent site which is well worth visiting. Integrated Surgery Lab

The Computer Integrated Surgery Laboratory is part of the Department of Computer Science at the Johns Hopkins University, USA. Their research program involves collaborations between computer scientists, mechanical and electrical engineers, along with surgeons, radiologists, and biomedical researchers. The goal of this research is to develop a family of systems that include: a robotic system for minimally invasive cancer therapy; systems which significantly extend human ability to operate on very small structures inside the body without large incisions for access; assist in routine surgical tasks; help surgeons to rehearse and optimize surgical plans based on preoperative patient-specific data; and systems that permit surgeons to assist in procedure in remote areas. Integrated Medical Intervention Laboratory

Established in 1994, the Computer Integrated Medical Intervention Laboratory at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, researches topics related to medical robotics and computer assisted surgery. This includes work on image processing, robots in medicine and computer visualization to assist surgery, with specialist subjects being ultrasound image processing; robots for urology, colonoscopy, neurosurgery, breast mammotomy, total hip replacement surgery, and augmented reality.

Current projects include: UROBOT a robot to perform surgery to treat selected urological disorders; Augmented Reality for Therapy (ART) a system to provide clinical information real time to surgeon; CROBOT a robotic colonoscope; and imaging processing for the detection of gland boundary on diagnostic ultrasound images.

Hot sites Healthcare Limited

Armstrong is a private company that aims to develop and market intelligent medical robotic products for surgery. Their products aim to provide healthcare benefits to surgeons, hospitals and patients, and which are designed and produced to high standards of technical excellence, safety and reliability.

Their current products include PathFinder the world's first intelligent robot for neurosurgery, EndoAssist the laparoscopic surgeons third hand, and OrthoTrack a precision localiser for bone and joint surgery.

This is an interesting site that is well worth visiting. A list of new projects can be found along with links to their relevant supporting associations. Surgical Systems

Integrated Surgical Systems, Inc. launched the Robodocw Surgical System for total hip arthroplasty in 1992. Five years later the company purchased Innovative Medical Machines International, the manufacturer of the NeuroMatee System – a robotic device for neurosurgical applications.

Robodocw is a computer-controlled surgical robot equipped with specialized drill bits and other hardware for preparing bones for prosthetic implants. Orthodocw is a preoperative planning workstation for total hip arthroplasty. The system displays images created from a CT scan of a patient's anatomy so the surgeon can visually determine which prosthesis will provide the best fit. NeuroMatee is the first robot available for assisting with stereotactic brain surgery.

This is a simple and well presented site.

Jon Rigelsford

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