Medtronic, Mazor Robotics close $40 million round

Mazor Robotics (NSDQ:MZOR) said today that closed the third, $40 million tranche of a deal with Medtronic (NYSE:MDT), which is due to take on exclusive global distribution rights for the Mazor X robot-assisted surgery device. It’s the third investment in the Israeli surgical robotics concern for Fridley, Minn.-based Medtronic, taking its total investment to $72 million, 10.6% stake in…

Johns Hopkins researchers set medical drone delivery record

With a 3-hour, 161-mile flight across the Arizona desert, researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine completed a record-distance medical drone delivery. During the flight, the drone’s payload system maintained the temperature of the human blood samples stored in a temperature-controlled chamber onboard, keeping them viable for lab analysis, according to the findings…

Study: artificial ‘skin’ could improve robot sensing

Researchers have found a material that can mimic human skin and improve robots’ sensing capabilities. Usually rigid semiconductor materials that create robots’ circuits limit the machines’ movement or sensing, either because they are not flexible or don’t permit electrons to flow efficiently. But the rubber electronics and sensors tested by a University of Houston team…

MIT researchers find way to automate measuring brain cell signals

Engineers at the Mass. Institute of Technology are working to automate the process of recording electrical signals from a brain neuron, which could help researchers more precisely study individual brain cells that affect learning and functioning and cause cognitive diseases. “Knowing how neurons communicate is fundamental to basic and clinical neuroscience,” Ed Boyden, senior author…

ABB to expand Michigan factory

Swiss company ABB plans to expand its industrial robot factory in Auburn Hills, Mich., CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer told Reuters this week. He did not comment on new jobs or investments associated with the expansion. The facility, which was first announced in 2015, produced its first robot in March and currently employs about 1,000 people. ABB…

Cambridge Medical Robotics unveils first look at Versius ‘bot

Cambridge Medical Robotics released the first photos today of its surgical robot, Versius, designed to make minimal access surgery more widely available and easier to perform. “We’ve designed Versius with surgeons in mind. By equipping them with a remarkable tool, fit for their demanding job, we can change the way surgery is delivered,” CEO Martin…

This exoskeleton could eliminate crouch gait

The National Institutes of Health has created what it claims is the first robotic exoskeleton that is designed to treat crouch gait in children who have cerebral palsy. Crouch gait occurs when there is excessive bending of the knees while walking. It is a common condition in children with cerebral palsy. The NIH reports that

Titan Medical closes $2m deal with Chinese investor

Titan Medical (TSX:TMD) said today that it closed a deal with Longtai Medical to convert a $2 million distributorship deposit to equity. The move makes Longtai the robotic surgical company’s largest shareholder. In May of 2015, Titan Medical and Longtai, a subsidiary of Chinese medical device distributor Ningbo Long Hengtai International Trade Co., inked a deal to

Soft, water-powered robot makes endoscopic surgery easier

Harvard researchers have created a rigid-soft robotic arm for endoscopes that can sense, flex and has multiple degrees of freedom. Flexible endoscopes fit through narrow passages to reach difficult parts of the body. Once they reach their target, the devices need rigid surgical tools to be able to manipulate or remove tissues. Researchers from Harvard’s

Bionik Labs integrates Amazon voice control tech into Arke lower body exoskeleton

Robotic rehabilitation device developer Bionik Laboratories said it integrated Amazon‘s (NSDQ:AMZN) Echo and Alexa voice technology into its Arke lower body exoskeleton. With the integration users of the Arke exoskeleton will be able to control the system and its various activity modes, including standing and walking, through voice commands, the Toronto-based company said. Read the whole story on

How MRI can power mini-robots inside the body for targeted treatment

Scientists at the University of Houston and Houston Methodist Hospital are harnessing the power of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to drive mini-robots through the body for targeted treatment. The researchers are developing control algorithms, imaging technology, ultrafast computational methods and human-machine immersion methods that could enable the steering of dozens or even thousands of tiny millimeter-sized

Worcester Polytechnic Institute launches smart medical devices program

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has announced the launch of its new PracticePoint program that is designed to bring research, development and testing of medical devices under one roof. PracticePoint, with $17 million in initial funding, will focus on creating smart and secure medical devices that can interact with the physical world and improve patient-centric care.

Analysis: Robotic surgery will thrive in 3 major areas

Global science, product and technology development company Sagentia claims that robotic surgery is going to continue to play an influential role in three niche areas including minimally-invasive surgery, specialist functional applications and patient management. The company predicts that continuum and snake robots will be beneficial to minimally-invasive surgical procedures because they are able to navigate

This snake-like robot could be used for colonoscopies

Ben-Gurion University researchers are working on creating an ingestible snake-like robot that can navigate through the small intestine for a robotic colonoscopy. The tiny, swallowable robot, deemed SAW (single actuator wave-like robot), moves in a wave motion and is able to move through the environment of the small intestine. “The external shape of the robot

Biocompatible 3D tracking could improve surgeries

Johns Hopkins University researchers recently wowed with their smart tissue, autonomous robot (STAR). It turns out the STAR’s biocompatible, near-infrared 3D tracking system is innovative, too. The tracking system – which uses near-infrared fluorescent (NIRF) markers – could improve both manual and robot-assisted surgery and interventions, according to a new study. The study compared the 3D tracking