The D. Dan & Betty Kahn Medical Robotics Laboratory:
Building a Medical Revolution
Not often do technology, basic science and inspiration come together to create a new medical paradigm – a new way of thinking that will dramatically change the way doctors work. Medical robotics is one such field, and the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Medical Robotics Laboratory, under the direction of Prof. Moshe Shoham, is one of the places where this revolution is happening.
For some time, the trend in medicine has been towards less invasive and more localized therapy. For instance laparoscopy using video images began to replace traditional abdominal surgery in the 1980’s. But only recently have advances in electronics, materials engineering and imaging technology opened the door to the almost non-invasive therapeutic and diagnostic techniques of tomorrow.
Prof. Shoham and his group have already developed a robot for back surgery, the SmartAssist, which helps guide surgeons through the delicate, complex anatomy of the spine. Now, the Kahn MRL is working on three main projects – in percutaneous needle steering, a new imaging system for laparoscopic surgery, and swimming micro-robots – along with other devices and techniques in various stages of development.