Robots play a critical -- and growing -- role in modern medicine, from training the next generation of doctors, dentists, and nurses, to comforting and protecting elderly patients in the early stages of dementia. Using robots, medical professionals can make smaller incisions for shorter surgeries, reducing hospital stays and improving patients' prognoses and saving costs. As robots become even smaller and developers continue to further integrate the devices with artificial intelligence, the medi
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After suffering a stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, or other harm to the central nervous system, people may lose their ability to walk and turn to intensive gait rehabilitation. Robot-based technologies such as Sensory Motor Systems Lab's Lokomat are designed to combine medical and engineering approaches to help patients regain mobility faster, with less pain. Developed at the Balgrist University Hospital in Zurich, the Lokomat uses a robot to automate treadmill training, affording patients longer and more frequent sessions and resulting in a faster and improved return to mobility, according to professor Robert Riener. The robot intelligently adapts its behavior to the patient's individual capabilities. Improved pelvis and hip actuation and control can make walking with the Lokomat more natural, and virtual training environments can increase patients' motivation and engagement, he said.