Would you let a Robot Examine Your Breasts?
Researchers at Michigan State University have designed a robotic hand to perform breast examinations. The robotic hand will allow doctors to perform breast exams from remote locations. The robot hand is controlled by a medical specialist via a haptic glove (a technology that simulates the sense of touch). Each finger of the glove is connected to a motion-sensor, so when the operator moves a hand or finger a computer transmits the movements via computer to the robotic hand; which in turn mimics the doctor's hand movements.
The robotic arm is fitted with ultrasound sensors, three video cameras and an artificial sense of touch to give the doctor using it an accurate sense of observation and feeling throughout the entire procedure. Ranjan Mukherjee, a member of the Michigan team, says that the robotic arm will next undergo clinical trials. Mukherjee believes that the robotic hand could be performing breast exams in hospitals within five years time.
Read the full article here: http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7630