How are robots involved in medicine - Term Paper Example

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The relative importance of robotics in medicine is evident in the first robotics prostheses developed for leg amputees. Professor Goldfarb and team at the Centre for…
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Robotics in Medicine s Advances in technology and the involvement of robotics in medicine are far beyond people’s imagination. The relative importance of robotics in medicine is evident in the first robotics prostheses developed for leg amputees. Professor Goldfarb and team at the Centre for Intelligent Mechatronics developed the first robotic prostheses that duplicated the natural movement of the human leg. The piece of technology was a breakthrough both in robotics and medicine. It allowed amputees to negotiate stairs, slopes, and reduced the risk of amputees falling down and getting injuries. The level of technology in the first robotic leg prostheses made it the first artificial leg controlled by the human thought after it integration with an interface. Researchers at the institute acknowledge the fact the technology in the first robotic leg was high-tech. The robotic contained lithium-powered batteries that provided powerful electricity that powered the machine. It also had powerful electric motors and micro sensors that acted as muscles and nerves respectively. Such duplication of the human leg allowed the robotic to a viable alternative for a human leg for amputees (Salisbury, 2013). The first robotics leg prosthesis is better than the passive artificial leg in many aspects. In addition to moving independently and sync with movements of the user, it also recognizes the intentions of the user to switch activities. The robotics allows the user to walk faster, uses less energy and reduces the rate of fall among users. Therefore, the ability of the robotic to move like a natural human leg makes it a viable option to amputees. However, various factors limit the adoption and usage of robotic leg prostheses. There are strict regulatory requirements set by government authorities regarding the use of multi-joint devices such as the first robotic leg prostheses. Clinicians also require additional training in robotics before prescribing the prostheses to patients.
After development of the first robotic lower-leg prostheses, the Center for Intelligent Mechatronics also developed an advanced exoskeleton that allows paraplegics to stand and walk upright. The Indego exoskeleton was an award-winning piece of technology in 2013 (Ward, 2013). For people paralyzed from the waist down to the legs, this technology can be a source of hope. The exoskeleton can fit around the torso and extend down to the legs and ankles. The level of technological advancement in this machine is high to the extent that it integrates an individual’s movements allowing one to stand and even walk. The sources of power are powerful battery-operated electric motors that help drive both the hip and knee joints. By leaning forward, the user can stand up and walk. When leaning backwards, the system allows the user to sit down. The ability of the exoskeleton to allow standing and walking addresses various problems that faced paraplegics such as loss of bone density and poor blood circulation. However, people must accept the importance of robotics in the health care sector. It is incredible and unbelievable how advances in robotics in the medical field can change the lives of people. Robotics is playing an important role in making the life of patient’s especially amputees better. The advances in technology and robotics change the way people view medicine. Things that were impossible are now viable by the help of robotics. Despite the various challenges of embracing robotics in everyday life, it remains central to solving humanity problems including usage in medicine.
Salisbury, D. (2013, November 07). Robotics advances promise artificial legs that emulate healthy limbs. Research News@Vanderbilt.
Ward, L. (2013, October 12). 10 Innovators Who Changed the World in 2013: Electromechanical Medical Miracle. Popular Mechanics. Read More
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