Magazine article USA TODAY

Autonomous Robot Detects Shrapnel

Magazine article USA TODAY

Autonomous Robot Detects Shrapnel

Article excerpt

A laboratory robot that can locate tiny pieces of metal within flesh and guide a needle to their exact location--all without the need for human assistance--has been developed by bioengineers at Duke University, Durham, N.C. These successful proof-of-feasibility experiments lead the researchers to believe that, in the future, such a robot not only could help treat shrapnel injuries on the battlefield, but might be utilized for such medical procedures as placing and removing radioactive "seeds" used in the treatment of prostate and other cancers.

The engineers started with a rudimentary tabletop robot whose "eyes" are a novel 3-D ultrasound technology. An artificial intelligence program served as the robot's "brain" by taking the real-time 3-D information, processing it, and giving the robot specific commands to perform. In their simulations, the researchers used two-millimeter pieces of needle because, like shrapnel, they are subject to magnetism.

"We attached an electromagnet to our 3-D probe, which caused the shrapnel to vibrate just enough that its motion could be detected," explains A.J. Rogers, who recently completed an undergraduate degree in bioengineering. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.