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3-D Haptics to Help Surgeons Feel the Cutting Edge

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Deakin University robotics engineer James Mullins is leading a research effort to develop haptics technology with the goal of making a simulation as realistic as possible for use in medical training exercises. Haptics "is very processor intensive for developing programs, so we're just starting to get computers fast enough to simulate stuff that makes it usable," Mullins says.

So far the researchers have developed a three-dimensional input device that enables a user to feel virtual objects for tasks such as tele-surgery. "What we have developed is a way for nurses to pick up a syringe and inject it into a virtual body and feel what it feels like as it goes through the skin and the soft tissue underneath," Mullins says.

The technology also can be applied to defense and policing, Mullins says. For example, the research team is working on a large defense project that would enable soldiers to remotely defuse bombs.

From The Australian
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