Sci-Fi Surgery On Exhibit: 7 Medical Robots That May Make You Reconsider Your Need For Medical Attention

If you happen to be in London between now and December 23, 2009, you may want to stop by the Sci-Fi Surgery exhibit at the Qvist Gallery at the Hunterian Museum.  Put on by the Royal College of Surgeons of England,  the exhibit features some pretty weird medical robots, as well as depictions of medical gadgets from film, anime, and sci-fi literature.  Here are 7 robotic members of the exhibit that you just may find visiting your person some day....


1.   Probot Surgical Robot

A pioneering medical robot designed in 1991 and still in use for the transurethral resection of the prostate... OUCH!   If you would like see more graphic images of the Probot in use, you can read more about it here.



2.  Ares Surgical Robots

These are prototypes of ARES robots developed by the Scuola Superiore Sant' Anna - CRIM Lab in Pisa, Italy.  ARES stands for: Assembling Reconfigurable Endoluminal Surgical (system).  You'll see below what that means....


© Scuola Superiore Sant' Anna - CRIM Lab© Scuola Superiore Sant' Anna - CRIM Lab


"The robotic devices comprise a set of indigestible modules containing different elements for structural functions, communication, power supply, processing and control, as well as diagnostic devices, including a camera for endoscopy and a DNA chips. Active modules for surgery are also needed, comprising ablation tools and systems to puncture cell membranes to allow insertion of therapeutic materials."  (ref)



Credit: ARES ProjectCredit: ARES Project



Imagine these toys assembling themselves after you swallow them, so they can go on to perform robotic surgery somewhere in your body.



Credit: ARES ProjectCredit: ARES Project



3.  Camera Pill Surgical Robot

This prototype for the Robotic Camera Pill, also a project of  the Scuola Superiore Sant' Anna - CRIM Lab, reckons that one day someone will swallow it and it will be remotely guided to the most disgusting parts of your interior to shoot images back to a screen which the whole world will watch on YouTube.   Well, maybe just your surgeons will view them on an O-R computer screen.


© Scuola Superiore Sant' Anna - CRIM Lab© Scuola Superiore Sant' Anna - CRIM Lab


Personally, I don't like the way she's looking at it.


4.  Ri-Man Medical Robot

Now we get into the realm of the not-so-scary... unless you're a child. Ri-Man is a Japanese nursebot developed by the RIKEN Bio-Mimetic Control Research Center, supposedly to care for the elderly.  That's it!  I'm never growing old!




5.  RP-7® Medical Robot

InTouch Technologies made RP-7 so that the surgeon doesn't even have to be in the operating room during surgery!   Just kidding.  But if you always thought your doctor was a bit remote...

Seriously, the RP-7 should have a big impact on helping doctors and other healthcare practitioners become more efficient. 




 6.  The Psychophonic Nurse Robot

This is one of the science fiction robot illustrations on display at the exhibit.  From the 1928 novel, The Psychophonic Nurse, this illustration was drawn by Frank R. Paul.  The novel was written by David H. Keller and is about a couple of parents who want to make sure that their daughter is raised "scientifically." 



"...let me show you how she works. She's made of a combination of springs, levers, acoustic instruments, and by means of tubes such as are used in the radio, she's very sensitive to sounds. She's connected to the house current by a long, flexible cord, which supplies her with the necessary energy. To simplify matters, I had the orders put into numbers instead of sentences. One means that the baby is to be fed; seven that she's to be changed..." (The Psychophonic Nurse)


7.  Bloodbot Medical Robot

Bloodbot is a prototype robot for taking blood samples, developed by Dr Alex Zivanovic and Professor Brian Davies at Imperial College London, 2001.




Now, this is where I have to leave...


sources:  The Royal College Of Surgeons of EnglandInTouch Technologies, ARES Project,, Imperial College, London


Sep 30, 2009
by Anonymous


Working on the design of one now that will manipulate part of a patients body during surgery. Girlfriend refers to it as "the torture device".

Oct 1, 2009
by Must Love Gadgets


Cool!  Send us an image when you can!