Kinect is helping surgeons

We’ve seen robots controlled by Kinect before, but never seen robots with such important tasks as well. A group of engineering students at the University of Washington are using Microsoft’s peripheral to guide the actions of robot surgeons.

Scientists and engineers have been working for years on methods for integrating video game technology with robots controlled by humans, which are increasingly used to perform delicate operations or too small for human hands.

The problem with robots is that even surgeons offering extreme precision, there is no tactile sensation to the doctor who is operating the small robotic arms. If a scalpel hits an exposed vein, for example, the operator does not feel the subtle impact.

The electrical engineering student Fredika Ryden created software that allows the Kinect create three-dimensional maps of the patient’s body.

The team says that without Kinect the project would cost approximately $ 50,000.

And Kinect not only allows the creation of extremely accurate data and the use of technology to respond. Doctors also may define the entire area of operation, creating a force field around the regions that the tools of the robots cannot overcome.

There are still obstacles to be overcome. The team needs to integrate technology with robotics standards, increasing the resolution of the video, and reduce the range of sensors to reach the point suitable for surgical use. Still, it’s a promising beginning for a technology that can save lives using a device created to keep us jumping around like idiots in front of the TV.

Via: The Daily.