In this research, we are combining recent innovations in mechanical design and computer vision in order to create robotic solutions for medical problems. We believe by allowing robots to see and understand the environment around them, they can be trained to preform basic monotonous tasks that often consume a large portion of human worker’s time and even improve on the performance of certain complex tasks.
Basic Task Automation
Many tasks that our medical professionals are burdened with are tedious and repetitive. These include drawing blood, taking measurements, changing IV lines and administration of Covid-19 tests. If tasks such as these can be conducted by cheap, tireless robot assistants, then nurses and doctors will have more time to deliver quality care to those in need. The demand for this has been amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic where major policy decisions have been made with the specific goal of reducing the burden on hospitals and hospital workers.
Enhanced Cancer Treatment
There will be a specific focus on cancer treatments using a type of electrical stimulation known as plasma treatments. This promising method is painless and non-invasive, and requires submillimetre accuracy for optimal delivery. Radiotherapies, where radiation is used to eliminate cancerous tissue already rely on advanced mechanics assembly to precisely administer treatment to target areas. We wish to improve on these designs, such as cyber knife, by reducing the reliance on human operators and introduce computer analysis of imaging information such as MRI/CT/Thermography to improve targeting and detection.
The average human surgeon requires 10-15 years of training and is only able to provide 30-40 years of service. Human doctors are also limited in their ability to stay up to date on recent discoveries and techniques. Robotic surgeries already exist in the form of human controlled devices to which precision microsurgeries that reduce or eliminate the need to open a patient. A well known example of these is the De Vinci Robotic system. Major drawbacks of these systems are overall cost of their mechanical design and the requirement of a additionally trained human surgeon operator.
We wish to introduce low cost design and autonomous function to these devices in order to bring people closer to advanced, highly available, affordable medical treatments.
Copyright © UAntwerp InViLab research group 2021