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Microrobotic Laser-Steering Medical Device for Minimally Invasive Surgery
Endoscopy has proven extremely useful in many areas of medicine because it can be carried out with relatively few risks in a short time, and be used to diagnose and treat numerous diseases. In gastroenterology, endoscopies of the upper gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, first part of the small intestine; upper GI endoscopies) and lower gastrointestinal...
FOAMs: Soft Robotic Artificial Muscles
Soft robots, similar to living organisms, are made from compliant materials that allow them great flexibility and adaptability for tasks at the human-robot interface and elsewhere. To enable soft robotic missions in different industrial, exploratory, and medical settings, engineers are trying to equip them with artificial muscles that could enable them to move smoothly, efficiently...
Soft Exosuits for Back Support During Strenuous Tasks
Over half a million workers in the manufacturing and construction industries are injured on the job each year, resulting in an estimated direct cost of $13.8 billion. Occupational back pain is the leading cause of injury and accounts for one-third of all musculoskeletal injuries, resulting in a median of eight days of missed work. Discussions...
milliDelta: Millimeter-Scale Delta Robot
Delta robots are deployed in many industrial processes, including pick-and-place assemblies, machining, welding, and food packaging. Three individually controlled lightweight arms enable fast and accurate motion of an output platform in three directions. Roboticists have reduced the size of Delta robots for tasks in limited workspaces, but so far, using conventional manufacturing techniques and components,...
HAMR: Versatile Crawling Microrobot
Small or difficult-to-access spaces such as areas covered with rubble, or narrow pipes and engines can pose obstacles to search-and-rescue missions, repair works, or environmental and industrial monitoring. One solution for these problems could be small-sized robots that are able to navigate such spaces, transport payload, sense, and communicate. Wyss Institute researchers have developed a...
Soft Robotic Shoulder Support for Stroke Rehabilitation
The majority of stroke survivors have difficulty using their affected arm in everyday life. Commercial rehabilitation robots exist, but most are expensive, rigid, non-portable exoskeletons that can only be used in clinical rehabilitation settings. Portable devices could considerably increase the frequency and amount of robotic therapy, maximizing the recovery possible for patients with arm impairments....
Root: Educational Robot for Coding
Computing is currently the fastest growing segment in the STEM fields, yet education in this area has lagged behind technological progress and demand. One of the main challenges in teaching K-16 coding is the difficulty in finding frameworks that span a wide age range and appeal to broad audiences. Databases aren’t something that excite most...
Programmable Robot Swarms
Collective behaviors enable animals like ants to achieve remarkable, colony-level feats through the distributed actions of millions of independent agents. These collective behaviors are inspiring engineers at the Wyss Institute to build simple mobile robots that harness the demonstrated power of the swarm, performing collective tasks like transporting large objects or autonomously building human-scale structures....
RoboBees: Autonomous Flying Microrobots
Inspired by the biology of a bee, researchers at the Wyss Institute are developing RoboBees, manmade systems that could perform myriad roles in agriculture or disaster relief. A RoboBee measures about half the size of a paper clip, weighs less that one-tenth of a gram, and flies using “artificial muscles” compromised of materials that contract when...
Pop-Up MEMS: Origami-Inspired Micromanufacturing
Recent decades have seen rapid development in the manufacture of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) at the micrometer scale, mostly based on silicon wafer processing techniques, with characteristic length scales of millimeters to nanometers. However, standard MEMS techniques are often inappropriate for producing machines with complex 3D topologies and varied constituent materials at the mesoscale, at sizes...
Soft Robotic Glove for Neuromuscular Rehabilitation
The majority of people with neurological conditions, such as stroke and spinal cord injury, experience loss of motor function in one or both hands, which can greatly reduce quality of life. Tasks often taken for granted become frustrating or nearly impossible due to tight spastic muscles, reduced grasping strength, and general lack of coordination in...
Flexi-Mitts: Neuromoter and Cognitive Ability Tracker
Advances in medical care have improved the survival of very low birth weight premature infants but at the same time have also led to an increased number of surviving infants with reduced cerebral growth and long-term neurodevelopmental motor, cognitive, and social morbidities. These complications are met by a lack of early assessment tools for diagnosing...
Soft Exosuits for Lower Extremity Mobility
Our lower-extremity soft exosuit is made of light, flexible fabrics that move with the wearer like clothing, and apply precisely timed assistive forces to a patient's ankles to improve their walking and mobility. This technology was licensed by ReWalk Robotics, which has commercialized it as the ReStore™ for stroke rehabilitation.