Robots Used to Treat Cancer

February 9, 2012 at 6:00 am 2 comments

Hi MAT 120 students! I thought I would introduce myself before I got started on the blog. My name is Katie Hammer and I am currently a junior. I am majoring in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management with a minor in Information Systems. I encourage everyone to try out an IT class. Technology is such a major part of the business world now that it will really give you an edge if you have a background in Information Systems.

This is actually my first time writing a blog (so be nice!), and I hope you enjoy!

Nowadays, almost everyone is affected by cancer. Either you personally are fighting it or you know someone close to you fighting it. Researchers work everyday to develop new technologies to defeat it. A new technology inspired by a crab dinner helps treat a cancer patient without having to put them under the knife.

Together Lawrence Ho, an enterologist at Singapore’s National University Hospital, and Louis Phee, an associate professor at Nanyang Technological Institute’s School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, created a crab-like robot that is used to remove early-stage stomach cancer. In 2004, when dining with Sydney Chung, a well-known surgeon from Hong Kong, Ho and Phee gained their inspiration for the robot from Singapore’s signature chili crab dish. Because of the strength of a crab’s pincers, Chung proposed that Ho and Phee could use the crab as their prototype.

Soon after, Ho and Phee started their work on the crab-like robot. Like a crab’s pincers, they developed a mechanical pincer and hook that connects to an endoscope. They also attached a small camera to the robot to provide visual feedback.

from the site

The way it works is that the robot enters through the patient’s mouth and then crawls down the throat to the stomach. By using the feedback from the camera, the surgeon can control the pincer to grab the cancerous tissue and slice it off with the hook. According to Ho, this procedure offers more precision because the robot can make finer movements compared to a surgeon using his or her hands.

Besides the finer movements, the robot offers some more benefits. This procedure takes a fraction of the time that the laparoscopic surgeries take and reduce the risk of infection and visible scars. So far, the crab robot has removed stomach cancer from five patients. Within three years, the robot could possibly be available commercially.

If you would like to read more about it click here.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mark brent  |  February 9, 2012 at 11:12 am

    This article really hit home for me… My father just passed away from stomach cancer this summer. If I new about this earlier, he might still be with us today.

  • 2. Katie  |  February 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Sorry to hear about your father. I actually lost my mom to cancer about a year ago, so that is why I actually chose this article. Whenever I see new forms of treatment for cancer patients, I am always so interested. I just want to spread any information I find so I can maybe I help someone or get them informed.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!


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