Robots put on their white coats

Robear, the ideal nurse’s assistant

An automated Teddy Bear that assists caregivers: that was the idea brought to life by researchers at Riken, a Japanese laboratory in Nagoya. Kawaii results guaranteed: looking like a mix between a bear and the Michelin Man, Robear uses its big paws to carry patients with limited mobility from their bed to a wheel-chair and vice versa, helping ease the load on nursing assistants. Equipped with sensors, it does its utmost to not shake patients while moving them. Toshiharu Mukai, one of the project’s overseers, explained to AFP that, “We chose this animal look from among other suggestions made by our researchers because it projects an image of ‘strength and friendliness'”. This giant with a sweet face can move through the most cramped spaces, thanks to its slimmed down weight of 140 kilos, compared to 230 for its predecessor. How reassuring.
Kori Robotics, the Little Chemist

Preparing chemotherapy treatments is a task as delicate as it is dangerous, involving the handling of medically toxic substances. An android designed by the Basque company Kori Robotics hopes to undertake this mission, keeping medical personnel out of harm’s way. Another benefit is that these two mechanised arms are fanatical workaholics, capable of preparing up to one hundred chemotherapy treatments per day. Without ever risking an overdose. How safe.
Rosa, a brain with surgical precision

It seems bulky and reluctant, you’d worry that it was clumsy. But in reality, Rosa is a robot with an implacable gaze and surgical precision. Rosa is able to locate a tumour in a patient’s skull with millimetre precision and then lay out the least invasive path for the surgeon to follow. How? After a brain scan and a laser calibration, the robotic arm is deployed above the target to show the surgeon where to cut. The surgeon then takes over and performs the operation.
Shorter surgeries, smaller incisions, lower risk of infection, and shorter patient recovery time: the benefits of this kind of microsurgery are enormous. It even allows for operations on children under the age of two. It’s not surprising then that this creation, designed by Medtech, a Montpellier company that is at the forefront of “French Tech”, has already been installed in several operating theatres, such as the one at Sanbo Hospital in Beijing, and at the Texas Children’s Hospital. How impressive.
Photo: Medtech
Further reading: “Will operations be carried out by robots in the future?” Interview with Bertrand Nahum, founder and CEO of Medtech.

Double Robotics, the ideal companion for ill children.

At the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, technology is not just for healing the body. It also helps to soothe troubled minds. Children with illnesses are like prisoners in their hospital rooms during long cancer treatments; however, they can count on Doctor Double to break their isolation. Double Robotics is a telepresence robot clown: an iPad mounted on a pole with two wheels that can be controlled with a smartphone or computer, allowing the patient to stay in touch with medical personnel and loved ones. The goal is to strengthen human connections and to brighten the hallways of paediatric wings. How entertaining. Robo-Jerry II, the Automated Guinea Pig

An idea that will have more people than just the animal rights activists wagging their tails. Dreamed up at Cornell University in New York State, Robo Jerry II is an automated dog with all of Man’s Best Friend’s traits. Covered with sensors, this patient simulation reacts to the slightest touch of student veterinarians working in the training facility. This allows students to perfect their technique and to respond to any emergency without causing any animal suffering. A feline version has also been developed. How educational.

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