The first robot, designed by a robotics company called Emerson, has been built to detect and treat injuries in people with spinal cord injuries, a new study reports.
The robot uses a camera to detect an injury in the neck and sends a message to the human operator.
The operator then makes a quick decision to put a splint on the injured person’s neck or to take them to the doctor, according to the study.
Scientists hope to develop more intelligent robots, but they are still figuring out how to get a good look at the spinal cord before they get too far.
“This is one of the most interesting robot projects I’ve been involved in, because it’s a really, really simple system,” says Dr. John G. Gagnon, an assistant professor of radiology at Emerson and the study’s senior author.
“The main thing is it’s really easy to build a robot that does these things.”
The new robot uses four actuators to move parts of the neck.
The first actuator moves the jaw to stabilize the neck joint.
A second actuator controls the head and neck muscles.
Finally, a third actuator makes the arm, which moves around the spine.
The arm is used to pick up objects and manipulate objects in the patient’s environment.
Dr. Gaggin said the team worked with Emerson to design the robot in a way that would work for the average person with the spinal injury.
He says the design makes it possible to build robots that can perform the basic functions of everyday tasks like walking and dressing.
Gagnon says the robot would likely be used in hospitals for diagnosing spinal cord injury.
In addition to the robot, the Emerson team also built a machine that is programmed to use the body’s muscles to move objects, and a system that uses infrared sensors to pick out different parts of a body.
The team hopes to use these machines to help patients who are paralyzed or have spinal cord problems.
But this is just the beginning of what scientists are hoping to do with these robots, says Gagnons research assistant, Dr. Matthew Bowers.
“This could lead to a lot of different applications,” he says.
Emerson is one company that has been trying to develop robots that look and feel human-looking for decades.
The company was founded in 1999 by scientists from Emerson University in Pennsylvania.
The company has more than 100 employees, including a group of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.