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DENTAL SCIENCE - REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 381-383  

Robotics and medicine: A scientific rainbow in hospital


1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Indira Gandhi Institute of Dental Sciences, SBVU, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Sri Aurobindo College of Dentistry, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India
3 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Ragas Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
4 Department of Oral Pathology, Vivekanandha Dental College for Women, Tiruchengode, Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, India
5 Department of Prosthodontics and Crown and Bridge, Indira Gandhi Institute of Dental Sciences, SBVU, Puducherry, India

Date of Submission28-Apr-2015
Date of Decision28-Apr-2015
Date of Acceptance22-May-2015
Date of Web Publication1-Sep-2015

Correspondence Address:
Dr. S Jeelani
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Indira Gandhi Institute of Dental Sciences, SBVU, Puducherry
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0975-7406.163460

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   Abstract 

The journey of robotics is a real wonder and astonishingly can be considered as a scientific rainbow showering surprising priceless power in the era of future technologies. The astonishing seven technologies discussed in this paper are da Vinci Robotic surgical system and sperm sorters for infertility, Veebot for blood investigation, Hanako the robotic dental patient for simulating the dental patient and helping a trainee dentist, RP-7 robot who is around-the-clock physician connecting the physician and patient, Robot for Interactive Body Assistance (RIBA) who is a RIBA serving as a nurse, Bushbot serving as a brilliant surgeon, and Virtibot helping in virtual autopsy. Thus, robotics in medicine is a budding field contributing a great lot to human life from before birth to afterlife in seven forms thus gracefully portraying a scientific rainbow in hospital environment.

Keywords: Bushbot, robotics, Veebot, Virtibot


How to cite this article:
Jeelani S, Dany A, Anand B, Vandana S, Maheswaran T, Rajkumar E. Robotics and medicine: A scientific rainbow in hospital. J Pharm Bioall Sci 2015;7, Suppl S2:381-3

How to cite this URL:
Jeelani S, Dany A, Anand B, Vandana S, Maheswaran T, Rajkumar E. Robotics and medicine: A scientific rainbow in hospital. J Pharm Bioall Sci [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 Aug 23];7, Suppl S2:381-3. Available from: http://www.jpbsonline.org/text.asp?2015/7/6/381/163460

Advances in science have led to unimaginable technologies and sparkling among them are the astonishing robots rising as a surrogate substitute to humans. Robot in Czech is a word for servant or worker. The word Robot was coined in 1920 by Czech novelist Karel Capek in a play titled Rassum's Universal Robots. A robot is a reprogrammable multifunctional manipulator designed to mobilize objects, equipment or any unique gadgets through variable programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks has been given in 1979 by Robotic Institute of America. George Devol designed the first programmable robot in 1954 and named it as Universal automation which was later designated as unimate. [1] The journey of robotics is a real wonder and astonishingly can be considered as a scientific rainbow showering surprising priceless power in the era of future technologies.


   Robotic Medicine - A Scientific Rainbow Top


da Vinci Robotic system - The 1st color in infertility

Human life is a puzzling existence with pathologies encountered at several phases of life. Interestingly the origin of the problem sometimes starts even before birth when cases of infertility pose a challenge. Among the various factors involved in infertility, endometriosis (presence of the endometrial gland and stroma outside the uterus) a gynecological disorder can pose a challenge and facing this challenge is the da Vinci Robotic system that combines robotic technology and telemanipulation systems representing the latest developments in minimally invasive surgery. The da Vinci Robotic System enables the surgeons to perform high precision surgeries with three-dimensional (3D) vision and is a moral boon in infertility associated with uterine fibroids performing the minimally invasive myomectomy. [2]

Furthermore, contributing are the sperm sorters. They use soft lithographic microfabrication techniques. The micro scale integrated sperm sorter is a small coin shaped device comprising of two inlets; two outlets; a sorting channel; and arrays of horizontally oriented reservoirs that function as passively driven, constant-flow-rate pumps. It separates sperms based on their motility as well as cellular debris. Retaining the non-motile sperms and debris in the initial streamlines; the highly motile sperms with the caliber to swim across the interface lying between closer laminar streams are separated from the remaining semen samples Thus, sperm sorters guides the suitable sperms toward the egg where fertilization will occur serving as a blessing in the budding of human life and glittering as the first beautiful color. [3]

Veebot - The 2 nd color in investigation

No sooner life begins subsequently starts the next problem in the form disease ranging at varying levels. Normally in a hospital environment, when the attending clinician fails to arrive provisionally at a reason for a complaint, the necessity of investigation shows its face. Considering one of the most common investigations - blood investigation. Conventionally with updates in science, we have one the most refined laboratories performing with perfection.

Finding a place for itself among this perfection is the 2 nd color - the Veebot.

Mitigating the merciless phlebotomist at certain occasions and serving as a boon in victoriously tracing the weak tricky veins are the Veebot, a new robot that lends a hand in drawing blood and inserting intravenous. Veebot is a sandwich of robotics and imaging technology. The Veebot utilizes an infrared light source that explores a suitable vein and uses an ultrasound that analyses the aspects of sufficient flow of blood for efficient drawing of blood. After confirmation, the arm of Veebot takes its position with the selected vein and performs the insertion of the needle. With approximately 83% accuracy the Veebot takes a minute to tackle the task to trace and trap the vein. [4]

Hanako - The 3 rd color - A robotic dental patient

Having arrived at the diagnosis, the next important responsibility in formulating the treatment plan is shouldered by a clinician or sometimes a trained professional. There is a need for a trained professional to perform his treatment directly on patients. First try is seldom perfect and hence it may make a patient suffer if ignorantly a wrong procedure is followed. Here is a boon to the trainee professional, in the form of 3 rd color - The Hanako. The Hanako is a robotic dental patient useful for the trainee dentist of our time. Bridging the gap between the static models (phantoms) and actual patients are the brilliant animated patient robots. Standing 165 cm tall with a metal skeleton and vinyl chloride based gum pattern of skin is the Hanako an interesting contribution in dentistry. Looking fairly realistic represented by her actions and expressions, she can verbally express pain, roll her eyes, blink, shake her head in pain, perform movements of jaw, tongue, elbow and wrist with the help of low pressure compressed air from an air cylinder, interestingly even simulate a vomiting reflex with a uvula sensor, and also simulate functions to induce bleeding and saliva flow. [5]

RP-7 - The 4 th color - A robotic round the clock physician

With Hanako, a trained professional can be molded as a potential doctor. Many a times, patient's fate is decided in a hospital based on the presence or absence of doctor at the time of need especially in a rural setup. Here is where the 4 th color shines out as RP-7. They serve as a bridge in saving life at crucial circumstances. Standing about 5 feet tall, RP-7 robot has been functioning as around-the-clock physician, letting the patients and staffs communicate with the off-duty doctors wirelessly via the video screen and camera. Thus, satisfying the uneven distribution and dearth of health care providers without a break or vacation are the surrogate doctors shining as the 4 th color. [6]

The 5 th color - A Robot for interactive body assistance (nurse)

Having completed with the outstanding doctor, equally important or even better contributing to immense significance at odd hours is a nurse. Here comes the 5 th color - Robot for Interactive Body Assistance (RIBA). Weighing about 180 kg including the battery, the RIBA helps to lift patients up to 61 kg from out of their beds and wheelchairs. With advances in science on one side, the geriatric population graced with increased longevity of life but with increased morbidity demanding the need for caretakers. Unfortunately, the caretaker proportion and stamina of caretakers not satisfying the burning needs of the physical help required by the elderly and the sick, the robotic assistance makes a moral and efficient impact, made in the form of a teddy bear, having a soft skin of light-weight urethane foam, with integrated tactile sensors and flexible arm to facilitate the lifting of humans. Adding to its astonishing service, it can recognize faces and voices as well as respond to vocal commands thus serving as a noble color. [7]

Bush robot - The 6 th color - A brilliant surgeon

Crowning the situation is always a surgeon, encountering the most baffling problems. Here comes the 6 th color, the super dexterous fractal robot or bush robot that resembles an animated bush with the trillions of swift nanoscale fingers. Armed with the right software, it serves as a brilliant surgeon. Pioneered by Hans Moravec with unmatched dexterity and reconfigurability are these fractal robots with improved degrees of movement, tremor free movements, and avoidance of fulcrum effect. They play a significant and sensible surgeons role in cardiac surgeries and many more surgeries including those related to other systems of the body. [8]

Virtibot - The 7 th color - A Robot in forensic imaging

The universal truth that death is a pathetic ending of every life but more pathetic is invasive body opening - the traditional means of postmortem investigation in humans as part of forensic science in certain situations when scientific examination of bodies after death becomes essential. To overcome this emotional science is a technology incorporating a minimally invasive procedure known as virtual autopsy (Virtopsy) emerging as a moral boon in Forensics. Virtopsy is a transdisciplinary technology that combines forensic science, pathological science, imaging science, image acquisition and acquirement, physics and biomechanics. [9],[10]

It relies on certain essential pillars which include: (a) 3D surface scanning 3D/CAD photogrammetry for the documentation of body surfaces, (b) multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT), (c) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) both of which visualizes the interior of the body for collection of all the data wherein examination of part of the body slice by slice in different planes is achieved according to the requirement of the situation, (d) MRI spectroscopy that estimates the time since death by measuring the metabolites in the brain emerging during postmortem decomposition. [11]

And noteworthy to mention are the Virtibot which are a multifunctional robotic system that serves to perform 3D surface scanning and automatic postmortem image guided biopsies. Emerging as a newest technology the Virtibot bridges forensic science, diagnostic imaging, computer science, automatic technology, telematics, and biomechanics thus is a qualitative reflection improving the outcome of forensic investigations. [12] Thus, the last but most sensational color is Virtibot, which performs a virtual autopsy, a definite blessing supporting the relatives of the diseased both in emotional and religious grounds. It is basically a scalpel free, non-invasive technique employing 3D imaging using MSCT and MRI to explore the human body, adding a new dimension in forensic science, and serving as the most beautiful color in the rainbow of robotics in a hospital.


   Conclusion Top


Science is a part of nature. Many aspects of nature are amazing and sometimes astonishing expressions of an elite enigma. A rainbow is an optical and meteorological phenomenon that causes a spectrum of light to appear in the sky when the sun shines onto droplets of moisture in the earth's atmosphere, which decorates the clear blue sky with a colorful band only under certain favorable environment. No doubt, science is a part of nature and such a beautiful rainbow can occur in the scientific environment too. With advances in sciences and many growing technologies in the forefront, robotics in medicine is a budding field of modern science contributing a great lot to human life from before birth to afterlife in seven forms thus gracefully portraying a scientific rainbow in hospital environment.

 
   References Top

1.
Moran ME. Rossum's universal robots: Not the machines. J Endourol 2007;21:1399-402.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Neme RM, Schraibman V, Okazaki S, Maccapani G, Chen WJ, Domit CD, et al. Deep infiltrating colorectal endometriosis treated with robotic-assisted rectosigmoidectomy. JSLS 2013;17:227-34.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Chung Y, Zhu X, Gu W, Smith GD. Microscale integrated sperm sorter. Microfluidic techniques. Methods Mol Biol 2006;321:227-44.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Perry TS. Spectrum, IEEE. 2013;50:23.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Takanobu H, Okino A, Takanishi A, Madokoro M, Miyazaki Y, Maki K. Dental Patient Robot. Kolkata: Academic Publishers; 2006. p. 1273-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Kershner RM. Could a robot soon replace your doctor? Seeing for life - Everything you need to know for healthy eyes and clear vision; Ocular Surgery News; 2006. p. 1- 4.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Caballero-Morales SO, Enríquez GB, Romero FT. Speech-based human and service robot interaction: An application for Mexican dysarthric people. Int J Adv Robot Syst 2013;10:1-14.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Bush B, Nifong LW, Chitwood WR Jr. Robotics in cardiac surgery: Past, present, and future. Rambam Maimonides Med J 2013;4:e0017.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
O'Shaughnessy PE. Introduction to forensic science. Dent Clin North Am 2001;45:217-27.  Back to cited text no. 9
[PUBMED]    
10.
Thali MJ, Jackowski C, Oesterhelweg L, Ross SG, Dirnhofer R. Virtopsy - The Swiss virtual autopsy approach. Leg Med (Tokyo) 2007;9:100-4.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Bolliger SA, Thali MJ, Ross S, Buck U, Naether S, Vock P. Virtual autopsy using imaging: Bridging radiologic and forensic sciences. A review of the Virtopsy and similar projects. Eur Radiol 2008;18:273-82.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Ebert LC, Ptacek W, Naether S, Fürst M, Ross S, Buck U, et al. Virtobot - A multi-functional robotic system for 3D surface scanning and automatic post mortem biopsy. Int J Med Robot 2010;6:18-27.  Back to cited text no. 12
    



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