We’re beginning to see more uses for robots outside of novelty as the technology advances. Sure, robotic helpers around the house are neat and can be useful but there’s some real life saving potential for robots. In today’s news, we’ve got a robot that will help hearts continue beating by hugging them gently. Warning, graphic image after the jump.
This robot likely isn’t what one would imagine when they think of “robot”. For one, it’s soft. The soft sleeve fits over an active human heart where it compresses in sync with the beat of the heart to help give it a little more support after the muscle has experienced trauma, such as heart failure.
The device was developed by Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital researchers. There are other devices meant to help weakened hearts however, they have their downsides. Since they all touch the blood, there is increased risk of clotting and patients must stay on blood thinners to alleviate this chance. This soft robot does not touch blood and therefore removes that need. The sleeve is made of silicone and is pumped by pneumatic actuators around the heart. Check out a video on the website