Kinect surgery is coming soon to an operating theater near you

first_imgWith all the Kinect hacks coming out these days, seeing someone control a robot with a Kinect is pretty old hat now… but what if that robot was wielding a scalpel and was about to perform heart surgery on you? Impressed yet?Well, you should be, because this Kinect hack is very real. A group of graduate engineering students at the University of Washington are now using Microsoft’s gesture-recognizing peripheral to guide the actions of surgical robots.Using the Kinect to create three dimensional maps of a patient’s body, the team is trying to solve the age-old problem of using surgical robots: namely, it’s hard for a doctor to guide a robot hold a scalpel if he doesn’t get tactile feedback as to how hard he’s pressing with it. The Kinect allows these robots to integrate with force feedback technology, allowing surgeons an accurate idea of what they’re doing within a patient’s body.“It’s really good for demonstration because it’s so low-cost, and because it’s really accessible,” Ryden, who designed the system during one weekend, said. “You already have drivers, and you can just go in there and grab the data. It’s really easy to do fast prototyping because Microsoft’s already built everything.”It’s also a very cheap system compared to existing medical technology: according to the team, without the Kinect, the project would have cost over $50,000.Read more at University of Washington (via Kotaku)last_img

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