These Augmented Reality Gloves Will Allow Doctors to Play Real-Life Operation

Practice makes perfect — important in open-heart surgery

September 30, 2016 9:00 am

Fun fact: most grave robbers at the turn of the century were doctors, who would dig up corpses to better understand the human body. A grim reality, but one we should all be thankful for. These days, cadavers are a little easier to come by — but there’s certainly not an endless supply. 

Unless you’re talking about the invisible, artificial variety of cadaver, which now eists.

Responsible party for this development: Dextra Robotics. Their new Dextro is an exoskeleton that slips on like a glove and connects to your VR equipment like any other accessory. When paired with their software, the bony exoskeleton provides torque and resistance, such that you can feel the texture and gradient of whatever the software tells you you’re holding. The rings at the base of the glove provide feedback for weight, and the glove can send vibrations if you, say, crush the object or handle it too firmly.

Other use cases for the technology? Gaming, obviously, as well as training simulations for police and military. But it’s the medical and technical fields (like rocket science) that should benefit the most, as doctors and mechanics require the most hours of training, which can be expensive given that things like bodies and rocketships aren’t lying on the trash heap.

In his article “The Picture Problem,” Malcolm Gladwell breaks down (in typical exhaustive Gladwellian fashion), why our sense of touch trumps our sense of sight. He cites the fact that doctors who rely on X-rays aren’t as proficient at finding breast cancer as doctors who do it the old fashion way — by feeling for lumps.

And Dextra will hone a doctor’s sense of touch greatly.

Of course, if you’re mind is heading straight for Dextra’s other potential applications — *cough porn cough* — well, let’s just say you’re not alone.

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