Cyborg and Bionic Systems: Signposting the FutureRead the full article
The Open Access journal Cyborg and Bionic Systems, published in association with BIT, promotes the knowledge interchange and hybrid system codesign between living beings and robotic systems.
Cyborg and Bionic Systems’ editorial board is led by Toshio Fukuda (Beijing Institute of Technology) and is comprised of experts who have made significant and well recognized contributions to the field.
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Design of Electrohydrodynamic Devices with Consideration of Electrostatic Energy
The importance of actuators that can be integrated with flexible robot structures and mechanisms has increased in recent years with the advance of soft robotics. In particular, electrohydrodynamic (EHD) actuators, which have expandable integrability to adapt to the flexible motion of soft robots, have received much attention in the field of soft robotics. Studies have deepened the understanding of steady states of EHD phenomena but nonsteady states are not well understood. We herein observe the development process of fluid in a microchannel adopting a Schlieren technique with the aid of a high-speed camera. In addition, we analyze the behavior of fluid flow in a microchannel that is designed to have pairs of parallel plate electrodes adopting a computational fluid dynamics technique. Results indicate the importance of considering flow generated by electrostatic energy, which tends to be ignored in constructing and evaluating EHD devices, and by the body force generated by the ion-drag force. By considering these effects, we estimate the development process of EHD flow and confirm the importance of considering the generation of vortices and their interactions inside the microchannel during the development of EHD devices.
Perspective for Future Medicine: Multidisciplinary Computational Anatomy-Based Medicine with Artificial Intelligence
Multidisciplinary computational anatomy (MCA) is a new frontier of science that provides a mathematical analysis basis for the comprehensive and useful understanding of “dynamic living human anatomy.” It defines a new mathematical modeling method for the early detection and highly intelligent diagnosis and treatment of incurable or intractable diseases. The MCA is a method of scientific research on innovative areas based on the medical images that are integrated with the information related to: (1) the spatial axis, extending from a cell size to an organ size; (2) the time series axis, extending from an embryo to post mortem body; (3) the functional axis on physiology or metabolism which is reflected in a variety of medical image modalities; and (4) the pathological axis, extending from a healthy physical condition to a diseased condition. It aims to integrate multiple prediction models such as multiscale prediction model, temporal prediction model, anatomy function prediction model, and anatomy-pathology prediction model. Artificial intelligence has been introduced to accelerate the calculation of statistic mathematical analysis. The future perspective is expected to promote the development of human resources as well as a new MCA-based scientific interdisciplinary field composed of mathematical statistics, information sciences, computing data science, robotics, and biomedical engineering and clinical applications. The MCA-based medicine might be one of the solutions to overcome the difficulties in the current medicine.
Surgical Robot for Intraluminal Access: An Ex Vivo Feasibility Study
Early-stage gastrointestinal cancer is often treated by endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) using a flexible endoscope. Compared with conventional percutaneous surgery, ESD is much less invasive and provides a high quality of life for the patient because it does not require a skin incision, and the organ is preserved. However, the operator must be highly skilled because ESD requires using a flexible endoscope with energy devices, which have limited degrees of freedom. To facilitate easier manipulation of these flexible devices, we developed a surgical robot comprising a flexible endoscope and two articulating instruments. The robotic system is based on a conventional flexible endoscope, and an extrapolated motor unit moves the endoscope in all its degrees of freedom. The instruments are thin enough to allow insertion of two instruments into the endoscope channel, and each instrument has a bending section that allows for up–down, right–left, and forward–backward motion. In this study, we performed an ex vivo feasibility evaluation using the proposed robotic system for ESD in a porcine stomach. The procedure was successfully performed by five novice operators without complications. Our findings demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed robotic system and, furthermore, suggest that even operators with limited experience can use this system to perform ESD.