Realistic 3D Printed Medical Training Robot

17 Nov

Realistic 3D Printed Medical Training Robot

Tottori Prefecture, Japan based medical venture firm Tmsuk R&D has collaborated with the Tottori University Hospital for creating a 3D printed robot named Mikoto that will be the future of medical simulation.  

In Japanese Mikoto means “Life”, Mikoto is a stimulation robot which is an imitation of human. The robot was specially developed for helping out budding doctors, medical students and emergency care workers. Mikoto not only looks and feels like human but it is also made with built in special sensors, which allows it response to trainees by saying “ouch” or gagging.

A quick insight into Mikoto

At first glance, it's easy to mistake the robot for a real boy, as all of its features are uncannily lifelike. Even its interiors are anatomically accurate, as its tongue, esophagus, and windpipe were all based on a patient’s actual organs. In making the simulation robot, the Tmsuk team transformed digital images of the patient’s organs into 3D printed models.

At first look, it’s easy to get tricked by the robot thinking that it’s a real boy as the features of Mikoto are extremely human like. The internal parts of the robot are also anatomically accurate as its esophagus, tongue and windpipe are all based on a patients real organs. While creating the robot the Tmsuk team used digital images for transforming the patient’s organs into 3D printed model.

Advancements of Medical Sector

As we are aware of the advancements of medical sector, which is progressively turning towards realistic 3D printed models for training surgeons and stimulating medical procedures. Japan still uses textbooks for medical learning and usage of stimulation models is still limited.

This is why most medical schools and hospitals have stimulation centres, most of them are equipped with training devices and dolls that are undoubtedly more rigid than the real patients that creates a chaos as the doctors are trained to do is very different than what needs to be done with the real patients.

A neurologist at the University of Tottori personnel of drug, Dr. Toshiya Nakano added that “Young doctors used to take in the ropes step by step by watching senior specialists at work and after that attempting their hand at working on real patients. Such styles of preparing are no longer satisfactory. Guaranteeing patient’s safety is a major concern”.

Mikoto a great step towards Medical Stimulation

The latest Mikoto robot is all set to make an outstanding step for medical simulation equipment. Though it is not designed for all type of stimulations but covers the three main procedures which are: endotracheal intubation (a process wherein a patient’s airway is forced open by a tube in the windpipe), gastrointestinal endoscopy (where internal organs are checked using a flexible fiber-optic camera tube), and sputum suctioning.

As stated above, Mikoto is fully equipped with a wide range of sensors which helps in alerting the users in case they put too much of pressure or choke it. At the end, the 3D printed robot also gives a score for simulation that is based on the data, which is obtained through the sensors and the time of the procedure.

By advancing associations between nearby organizations and its scholastic group, the prefecture is confident that it can put itself on the innovative guide, as well as offer some truly necessary leaps. On the off chance that Mikoto is a sign, we need to state its set for a decent beginning.

Image Credits : Mikoto Robot via Japan Times

Chris Joel (Author)

Realistic 3D Printed Medical Training Robot
Chris Joel is a writer at 3D Printers Online Store. Hailing from South London, he has a degree in English Literature. His interests include the application of 3D printing technology to art and its popularization.