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July 2, 2012

Rock, Papers, Robotic Surgery Snake

The lead tells the entire story. “IMAGINE a tiny snake robot crawling through your body, helping a surgeon identify diseases and perform operations.” (If your imagination is not doing the job, take another look at the photograph above. But don’t look for too long because it’s at least half disgusting.)

Here is a fascinating passage from the piece:

Dr Argenziano noted that robots aren’t a magic cure. “The robot is good at certain things and it’s not good at other things,” he said. Some studies have found that the cost effectiveness of surgical robots varies greatly. In smaller hospitals, the high cost of purchasing and maintaining a robot may not make sense.

Mr Choset has also built larger snake robots designed for search and rescue, or just exploration. They can climb poles or trees and then look around through a camera in the head, and slither through places humans can’t reach.

“We sent our snake robots into these caves off the coast of the Red Sea to look for evidence of ancient Egyptian ships,” he said. “To me archaeology is like search and rescue, but everyone’s been dead for 5,000 years,” reducing the pressure.

This is the type of cutting edge robotics work that changes the world. The following? Not so much.

Japanese robotics know no bounds. Now scientists in the (my label) ‘Nation of Geniuses’ have devised a robot that is unbeatable in a casual game of rock, paper, scissors. Don’t believe me? Watch this video:

From the piece:

The robot is equipped with a high-speed camera that can sense the shape and position of the hand and can respond faster than humans are capable of – in one millisecond flat to be precise.

I never thought RPS required robotics to be more fun. But then again I’ve never found RPS that much fun.