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January 20, 2012 at 10:57 AMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Open Source Surgery, Nike Measures Your O2 Intake, and Legislation To Make You Weep

By E.M. Wollof from SLN More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the The Cold Boot Blog Series

Lot of stuff to go over this week, so let's jump right in...

The Robot Revolution

The University of Santa Cruz and the University of Washington recently developed a surgical robot dubbed the "Raven II." The robot was modeled after technology originally intended for military use, as is most revolutionary technology these days. Similar to the daVinci Surgical System, which is being used across the world for prostate and other surgeries, the Raven II is an entire surgical suite wrapped up in a rather compact design. The main difference between the two is that the Raven II is an open-source software robot, meaning that when the robot is purchased by a medical establishment, they have every right to manipulate the software to their needs. The davinci Surgical System has proprietary software, is incredibly expensive, and not as portable.

The coolest part about Raven II? This magnificent creation can actually learn how to perform surgeries by recording a surgeon with an on-board camera! The movement is stored in a database and the Raven II is ready to perform on its own! Also, when performing surgery on moving organs, like the heart, the Raven II reacts to the movement of the organ with a type of proximity buffer, correcting its position in symphony with the movement of the organ. Even more amazing, with the on-board camera, surgeons can control Raven II through telesurgery (that's over a landline, not mind bullets)!

The Evolution of the Fitness Band Revolution

Nike recently released its FuelBand to the general public, adding to the plethora of fitness band products that have come out in the last year. Some may recognize the fact that Nike has actually been making fitness bands for the last 15-20 years, but most have forgotten that point due to the shiny nature of new technologies.

Anywho, the FuelBand performs the same basic functions as the rest of the fitness bands, steps taken, heart rate, calories burned, etc. What the FuelBand does differently though, is give you a meter of your daily activity based on oxygen consumption. By taking into consideration your movement and the average consumption of O2 used in that type of movement, the sleek looking LED display gradually fills an activity readout during the day to let you know how active you have been!

While the tech may be extremely similar to other products out right now (Samsung's UP), the look of this wrist band is heads and tails above most, giving Nike the edge in consumer control.

Sigh/Breath of Relief

Legislators took a break from the SOPA/PIPA debate today after seeing that a massive amount of their constituents would hate them if they voted to break the internet. While I would absolutely love to rant about SOPA and PIPA I will save you having to look at a completely censured paragraph, instead take a look at this:

After a month (just a month) of being "out," Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol has grossed $506,747,000 worldwide. The production budget sits at $140,000,000. The main proponents of SOPA and PIPA legislation are the film and music industries. Do the math from above, tell me greed doesn't drive both of these ridiculous bills, I dare you..


Raven II -

FuelBand -

SOPA/PIPA - Ask Google or Wikipedia

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  • Raven II sounds like pretty awesome technology. If/when I ever have surgery on my digestive system again, I was told it would likely be with the daVinci system - but Raven II sounds just as good, if not better because of the learning and correction capabilities of it.

  • Wow, I agree with Dave. Raven II sounds pretty awesome. Especially since it records the movements of an actual surgeon performing the procedure. I wonder if when I need my next pacemaker surgery, I will be using Raven II technology. I've got about 3 years until my next maybe I will or maybe some other technology will come out! ;)

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