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Biomedicine in museums

Are we on the edge of a robot revolution in medicine?

By September 7, 2009No Comments

After the large-scale renovation of its permanent collection in 2005, the Hunterian Museum in London has expanded its outreach programme under the leadership of senior curator Simon Chaplin.  Today, the museum opens another new temporary show,  “Sci-Fi Surgery: Medical Robots“.

Running until 23 December, the exhibition displays the world of medical robotics. Things like the Probot (1991), a robot designed to aid prostate gland surgery; Freehand, a robotic camera holder for keyhole surgery; mini-robots designed to make their own way around the inside of the human body; the prototype Robotic Camera Pill (2005); and the ARES Robot prototype (2009) which requires patients to swallow up to 15 different modules which then re-assemble inside the body into a larger device that can carry out surgical procedures.

The exhibition will also feature medical robots from sci-fi: from the 1920s ‘Pyschophonic Nurse’ to Japanese Manga and Anime, raising the question  to what extent scientists are inspired by the representation of medical robots in films, books and comics.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that the exhibition has been funded by, among others, The Japan Foundation and The Japan Society.

Sci-Fi Surgery: Medical Robots events including anime and film screenings, discussions and robot family workshops.

Sounds like a great show — I cannot attend the opening — but it looks a must for the annual London trip.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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