Here are this weeks awesome science and technology headlines in the fields of Lasers and Robotics. This week we’re looking at real life surgical grade lightsabers, robotic birds that mimic the real thing, and creepy Japanese robots intended for hugging!
In medical news a new laser scalpel was debuted in late April, being called the “Medical lightsaber.” This new medical laser is said to be ultra-fast, ultra-accurate, and ultra-compact. Bringing an end to the days where even with so called “precision” micro-lasers vast portions of tissue beyond the desired cut were affected.
The endoscope controlled femtosecond laser, that is, 200 quadrillions of a second per pulse can accurate target damaged and diseased cells. A feat long declared impossible when using an ordinary metal scalpel.
Even the once vaunted Cyberknife is fairly ineffective by comparison when dealing with cellular level cuts.
University of Illinois student Soon-Jo Chung and Aditya A. Paranjape a postdoctoral researcher have teamed up to design and unveil a winged robotic plane capable of flight by flapping wings, something never before seen in modern robotics.
The real coup, however, is the intense detail with which this little bird-bot is capable of flying. When in flight the “bird” can speed up, slow down, and in most other ways replicate a real functioning living bird.
In addition to replicating bird like movement, the wondrous little metal avian can perch on a human hand, emulating it’s fleshy predecessor to a nearly eerie closeness.
The Robot that Cares
In other robot-replicating-organic-life news Japanese robot designer Hiroshi Ishiguro has unveiled his newest creation, the Hugvie Robot.
This plush single legged figure is supposed to emulate a missed love one. It can accept a cellphone to have a conversation with a distant loved one and simulate physical contact and it also has electronic equipment inside to simulate a human heartbeat when hugged close. The vibrations can be customized per individual user.
If you are in need of a hug, and would prefer the robot variety, the Hugvie is available through Vstrong in what I will describe as a variety of rather wild looking colors for a huggable slug robot.