Marina Bay Sands, Singapore hosted ICRA 2017 under the motif of “Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Real-World Solutions”. With such compelling requirements, as imposed by this year’s theme, one would think that we will be devoid of bizarre yet enthralling inventions that may or may not serve its purpose.
Turns out that this year’s line-up included quite the robots, which were both concededly uncanny but has realistic uses both today and in the future.
Fine Needle Aspiration hardly sounds like a weird Robotic invention. In fact, it is a Biopsy procedure already done all over the world. The modification process though of swallowing a Robot that sucks some of your tissues for extraction and eventual analyzation can be quirky for others and yet its efficiency cannot be denied; a major upgrade from the previous Robot that only scrapes the surface (pun intended) of the tissues.
The magnet-guided bots will then come out with samples for Doctors to see sounds really handy and could be an indication of more “swallowable” inventions to come.
Second in our weird Robotic invention list: A Malleable Prosthetic Hand that can be bent or broken. Questionable of its use, it allows the wielder to engage in high-risk situations such as being deformed beyond the usual orientations of the fingers. Technicality aside, it survives extreme cases as if nothing happened; it will simply “pop” back into form.
Those who ever experienced going through a colonoscopy will cite that it is both discomforting and painful. After all, who wants to have foreign objects enter their rectum? This weird Robotic invention in the form of a worm aims to eliminate the nuisances of the medical procedure on top of being more efficient in collecting tissue samples.
The so-called colonoscopy robots have complex compositions which include legs, treads, and can also expand depending on the area.
Mobility scooter riders rejoice for this weird Robotic invention may be the least peculiar of them all. A Robot Arm that can be guided via a laser beam (supposedly for those hard-to-reach and sometimes even dangerous locations) will be attached on the said scooters at a 90% success rate. Adjustments to the depth camera and sensors are needed to be able to fine-tune this to close to perception, assuming that the users will be able to line that laser properly.
Lastly, the blind gets a bit of help not only in terms of mobility but also make them “hurt” less using that trusty old cane of theirs.
A viable vision system that is reliant on vibration feedback further integrates technology and disabled-aid through computers, depth cameras, and even belts. Before tapping that cane to a thing or person, the user will now have an idea whether or not there is a presence on the said space.
In the end, this weird Robotic invention list may very well end up to shun the “weird” in the phrase and simply be inventions that exponentially increases the harmony of robots and human life.