Dental Robot Doesn’t Need Human Assistance

Since developing a surgical robot, engineers across the globe have been pushing the limits of machines in medicine. This Chinese dental robot can perform implant surgery without any human assistance.

The implants were fitted to within a margin of error of 0.2-0.3mm, reaching the required standard for this kind of operation.

The robot addresses the shortage of dental technicians as well as frequent surgical errors. China imports roughly 1 million implants annually, which hardly satisfies the 400 million patients needing new teeth. The Fourth Military Medical University’s hospital takes care of 3D printing dentures.

[Dental staff] programmed the robot to move into the correct position to carry out the operation, and determined the movements, angle and depth needed to fit the new teeth inside a cavity in the patient’s mouth.

The robot adjusts to patients’ movement, which is definitely a plus. It also makes the experience a lot less intimidating, knowing your gums won’t be in for a prickly surprise. It seems surgeons are in for some serious competition.

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First Robot Passes Medical Exam In China

If robots have become capable of performing complex surgeries, surely they can begin to replace traditional doctors. Such is the case with Xiaoyi, a machine that recently passed China’s medical licensing exam.

“Since 2013, more than half of the questions in the test are about [patient] cases,” [said engineer] Wu [Ji]… “So it’s impossible to purely rely on memorising and searches.”

To earn a score of 456 out of a perfect 600, developers programmed Xiaoyi to link words and phrases. In doing so, the “Little Doctor” learned to reason — an impressive but also intimidating feat.

“What it can do most at present is make suggestions to doctors, to help them identify problems quicker and avoid some risks,” Wu said.

Still, Xiaoyi won’t be flying solo anytime soon. After all, there’s nothing like the reassurance you get from a human being — especially when they’re holding a needle!

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Robot Assistant Helps Elderly To Stay Fit

Robots aren’t going to take over the world. Or so we think. With existing devices that swim and perform surgery, I wouldn’t be too sure. Though much of modern technology is for the millennial generation, some cater exclusively to baby boomers. ElliQ, a companion bot, is one of those devices, helping the elderly remain in tip-top shape.

“Our goal is to leverage a combination of our proprietary technology, emotive interaction models, and gerontology insights with elegant design to empower older adults to intuitively interact with technology and easily connect with content and loved ones and pursue an active lifestyle,” explained Dor Skuler, CEO and founder of Intuition Robotics.

The robot, which resembles an uncanny lamp, narrows the gap between its older users and current apps. Basically, it’s a dystopian life coach. ElliQ caters to a client’s specific needs. It offers communication, fitness, and health services without being… too weird.

“ElliQ could never replace human interaction, but it can be an important motivating factor in keeping older adults healthy and active when living alone.”

Sure, co-habituating with a talking appliance may sound unorthodox, but maybe isn’t in this day and age.

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Swimming Robot Can Detect Water Pollution

There is no denying the value of robots. They have not only helped us perform difficult tasks like surgery — they have also assisted in data gathering and analysis. This swimming robot developed in Switzerland can detect water pollution and wirelessly send out information in real time.

The robotic eel is outfitted with sensors that make it able to test the water for changes in conductivity and temperature as well as signs of toxins. The robot is made of several modules, each containing a small electric motor and different sensors. The modular design allows researchers to add or take from its length and change the robot’s make up as needed for each task.

Not only are these robotic “eels” more efficient than manual measurement stations — they don’t disturb a lake’s inhabitants. They are also advanced enough to calculate biological changes. Bacteria in these sensors easily recognize toxins.

For instance, the bacteria will luminesce when exposed to even very low concentrations of mercury. Luminometers measure the light given off by the bacteria and that information is transmitted to a central hub for analysis.

As taken from its namesake, the robot can slither towards the polluting source in any body of water. While they are human creations, it seems about time to give robots some credit!

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Robot-Engineered Skateboard Is Bulletproof

The recent rise of robots has been quick and inevitable. While I don’t mean this in an “I, Robot” sense, machines have been working alongside us to improve our daily lives. Some are combatting cyberbullying while others are performing surgery. Now, they’re helping to manufacture a bulletproof skateboard.

[Jelly] sells a line of clear, polycarbonate boards capable of stopping a bullet — a unique idea that has helped company president Sven Alwerud carve out a special niche in the skateboard industry.

Luckily for Alwerud, his dad — a famous robotics engineer — offered to help the upstart company.

Alwerud Sr. put together a robot to assemble the boards–and quickly. (I wonder how much of a hit he must’ve been at elementary school career days?)

“He designed the robot in two days and with his years of automation experience, he was able to use the simplest designs and techniques which helped reduce the chance of error and downtime.”

Jelly hopes to purchase a new robot in the near future in order to produce more of his in-demand skateboards. If you’re not a great rider, at least you’ve got protection!

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Surgical Robot Is Ridiculously Fast

There is much debate as to whether certain jobs should be handed over to artificial intelligences or remain to be carried out by a human workforce. Human error plays a huge role in why most industries choose to replace employees with machines. Researchers from the University of Utah are helping to minimize these risks with a new robot that can complete complicated procedures up to 50 times quicker than its human counterparts.

The robot can reduce the time it takes to drill into the skull from two hours to two-and-a-half minutes.

The robot is guided around vulnerable areas of the skull by data gleaned from CT scans and entered into the robot’s programming.

The CT scans show the programmer the location of nerves or veins that the bot will have to avoid.

Not only is the machine less prone to erring, it is also cutting surgery costs, as shorter surgeries are cheaper. While robotic surgeons are mostly prototypes, the day they become the norm doesn’t seem too far off.

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