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New Blog Series: Robot Inspiration, #2

Last Saturday, Jonathan began a new blog series and discussed building robots that move in non-traditional ways, including vertically. We'll continue the series today by introducing the concept of Robosurgery.

The picture shown here is the da Vinci Surgical System - the surgeon (on the left) uses a console to control the movements of the robot on the right. With this system, the surgeon "sees" what the robot sees, at a very detailed level. Imagine the surgeon needing to make a cut of .1mm depth - the human hand would most likely be incapable of performing this type of action - but the robot can do it with ease.

You can download a PDF chapter (1MB) that was not included in the Idea Book by clicking here. This chapter discusses Robosurgery in more detail as well as provide a building challenge for you. My original concept for this chapter was to try and use 2 NXT kits - one would be my "console" which would consist of a remote control device using Bluetooth. The other NXT kit would be used to build an arm with two pinchers on the end and a wireless camera mounted on the arm. I would then use this pair to play the game Operation. The goal of the game Operation is to remove parts from the "patient" without touching the metal edges surrounding the parts - touching the metal edges with the tweezers sets off an alarm and makes the patient's nose glow red.

It's a difficult challenge - if you attempt it and are successful, provide a video to me and we'll share it with our readers and praise your NXT building skills. (No photos or stop-motion video, for obvious reasons!)

Once you've finished the chapter, other projects to consider might be building a robot that can examine areas of your home that are inaccessible to humans - small crawl spaces, under the car, etc. Have fun.

To find other challenges in thie new Robot Inspiration blog series, just search on the term "Robot Inspiration" or click here. We'll have a new challenge topic for you next Saturday.

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