Biorobotics – The Next Generation of Medicine?

What is Biorobotics

BioRobotics are everywhere.  From the movies to novels to fantasy to real present day medicine.

Robots…  Biology…  put the two together and you have BioRobotics.  It doesnt matter which way you combine them either. You can program or design a robot to be like a living organism.  Think robots that look like humans or mechanisms that can replace limbs  or even the Terminator.

You can also think about Biorobotics in the other direction where the robotic device assists in making the biological “thing” work.  Some quick examples of this are when a device is used for Physical therapy type repetive motions.

Adaptive Therapy

Robotics interacting with Biology.  In adaptive therapy situations think about being able to use a robotic device to move a limb in the usual “correct” motion.  The robot is interacting in a way to strengthen or train the person.  It can also be used to test.  Situations where feeling and sensation must be measured while in motion.  I read somewhere about a testing system involving a MRI and a robotic testing mechanism working together while the MRI was monitoring the brain.

Co-Worker Robots

This is already commonplace.  Surgeries already take place with robots.  They have for many years.  Laproscopy is one example of early robotics.  Even more recently power morcellators have been in the news for the legal problems associated with them.  Apparently the claim is that the morcellator “chews up tumors and some of those pieces of the tumors do not get picked up and end up alowing the cancer that was being removed to actually spread further.

Additive Assistance

Basically this is some of the most fascinating robotics work being done.  Imagine being able to put on a suit and apply some level of force on places inside that suit and have the suit perform a function for you.  It’s like a watered down version of an ironman suit.  This can work wonders for people with neurological disorders like cerebral palsy or stroke or spinal cord injury.