In the field of robotics, developing robots inspired by animals is becoming a trend, either because of its structure or a specific function. In that sense, how can a snake-shaped robot help save lives?
Jessica Burgner-Kahrs, director of the Continuum Robotics Laboratory at U of T Mississauga, in collaboration with other scientists, develops novel robots. They are systems that share characteristics of a snake. Therefore, they are thin, flexible, extensible and with a great capacity for movement.
But, what really draws the attention of this device, is the utility it can have. The idea of a snake-shaped robot helping save lives is echoing in medicine, even more so in neurosurgery.
This robot can reach places in the brain that a neurosurgeon cannot access
Generally, a neurosurgeon follows specific patterns to reach a cancerous mass, subdural hematoma, or any other pathology of the brain that requires removal. This is because it has traditional surgical tools that prevent brain damage from getting worse. However, with the use of a snake-like robot this could change, and therefore more lives could be saved.
“… The surgeon has to reach the cancerous mass by following a straight path to the brain, and runs the risk of penetrating and damaging vital tissue. Burgner-Kahrs imagines the day one of her snake-shaped robots, guided by a surgeon, could wind its way around vital tissue but still reach the precise surgical site. Previously inoperable brain tumors can suddenly become operable. ‘It could revolutionize surgery’ “, adds TechXplore.
The use of a snake-shaped robot goes beyond neurosurgery
In addition to being used to access parts of the brain that cannot be achieved in a conventional way, Burgner-Kahrs points out that it may well be used to treat a tumor in any other part of our bodies. Like taking a sample from the abdomen, accessing the lungs, and so on.
All this thanks to the fact that the robots are equipped with sensors. Therefore, they can move with complete tranquility through the human body, just as a snake would behave in its common habitat.
In this project, science and technology are combined in a simply spectacular way, which is sure to yield rewarding results. Dont you think
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