Retinal surgery is a complex process that only a few skilled surgeons are qualified to perform, and as such, there is a very large need for retinal surgeons. However, most of the medical knowledge is located in the western part of the globe, concentrated in big cities. To address this issue, Vitreous Robot responds to the question in medical device design: Is it possible to create a non-frightening surgical experience for the delicate eye area, especially when the patient is located remotely?
As a medical robot, Vitreous Robot allows for transatlantic and transnational retinal surgery. It allows professional Retinal surgeons to perform operations with a remote console from anywhere in the world, for patients located in places that lack expertise in retinal surgery. The robot has two consoles – one located where the surgeon is and the other where the patient resides. The surgeon can work from his console wherever he wants. The robotic arms perform every movement initiated by the surgeon through his console minimally and accurately. This gives an even higher level of precision in eye surgery, allowing for more complex retinal operations.
Design-wise, Vitreous Robot looks visually pleasing and reassuring. A circular ring acts as a hub that houses the robotic arms, almost camouflaging them. Since this can be an unnerving situation for patients, the design aims to relax the patient. Soft forms, along with a predominantly white body, gives an atmosphere of calmness. Before the patient is anaesthetised, the surgery arms of the robot located in the central ring are hidden from view. They will only appear once the patient is laying down and relaxed. A supervising nurse is required in the surgery room when the operation procedure is performed remotely by a doctor. In case of malfunction or complications, a “manual” option allows the surgical procedure to be performed without the robotic arms. When the procedure is completed, the entire bed will move forward into the ring via a rail system.
The innovative Vitreous Robot creates a new solution and a new consciousness, socially and technologically. Through appropriate research and development, the future of medical device sees a Vitreous Robot in every hospital around the world, where each robot can be connected to the homes of any Retinal surgeon.
Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art, Israel