The robot that could help doctors diagnose disease-related fatigue in humans could be coming to Britain.
In its first few months, a team at the University of Manchester has used a robot to diagnose symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and chronic fatigue syndrome.
They have also used it to diagnose a common sleep disorder, a rare disease called narcolepsy.
“It’s a real challenge for a doctor to work on these two disorders at the same time,” said Dr David Knaus, one of the scientists who developed the robot.
“But we’ve got the experience and the equipment to do it.
The robot is very robust, and we’re not going to be replacing a doctor in the next five years.”
The robot, which is called the Neebot, has been developed by researchers at the Department of Biological Sciences at the university and is designed to be used in the field.
The team is aiming to get it into service in hospitals within two years.
The first Neebots will be tested in an emergency room in Manchester, where it will be used to diagnose patients with Parkinson’s, narcolesia, chronic fatigue, and sleep disorders.
The NeeBot is about the size of a shopping cart, but its design allows it to perform tasks that doctors and other healthcare professionals can only dream of.
It is a small robot, with a motor and sensors that are controlled by software, and has a backpack that can carry around a backpack, or even a small laptop.
It can carry up to 10kg, but is expected to be lighter and cheaper to manufacture.
Dr Knauss said that the first Nees will be able to carry around an individual patient, or group of patients, as well as carry out tasks that are impossible to do by a regular doctor.
The problem is that the robots are not yet able to perform the tasks that a doctor would be able.
“They are still very much in the research stage,” he said.
“If we want to have a robot that can do something, we need to know what it’s doing.
It’s the same with other medical tools like MRI machines.
If we can get it to work, we can take it out of the lab and take it back to a doctor.”
Dr Kneus and his colleagues were working on developing the robot during the winter of 2012-13.
They built a prototype of the robot, and then developed software that could be used on it.
They then developed a computer program to automate the work of the Nees.
Dr Wai-Yen Huang, a researcher at the Manchester Department of Engineering and Technology, said the work shows that the robot is well suited to the role of a medical robot.
He said that because the NEEbot is not yet capable of being programmed to do tasks, it would not be able do them very often.
“We would like to make sure that it’s being used on a regular basis,” Dr Huang said.
However, he said that in the future, the team would be exploring other ways of making the robot more useful.
“This is a very early prototype.
We are trying to understand more,” he added.
“The technology that we’re working on is very interesting, and will hopefully be able for a very long time.”
Dr Huang told New Scientist that the Nesbots could also be used as a research tool, but it was not yet clear if this would be possible.
“In the future we will be trying to apply our knowledge to other types of medical robots, like microchips or robots that can be put on the body,” he explained.
“That will be one of our goals.”
He added that it was important to keep the robots as lightweight as possible.
Dr Huang was optimistic that the development of the robots would allow them to be more widely used.
“There’s no doubt that these robots can be very useful, and they’re very good at their jobs,” he concluded.
Dr John Sainsbury, from the Department for Health and Social Care, said that his department was not opposed to the use of the machines in hospitals.
“These are robots that we would use for routine work, but they can also be useful for patients,” he told New Singapore.
“People often come to us because they have a medical condition that can’t be solved with a doctor, and that’s one of their most common requests.”
Dr Sainsburys team has previously worked with the National Health Service on the development and deployment of medical robotics in hospitals, including on a small device that can detect and administer oxygen.
However he added that the NHS should not be taking the robots too seriously.
“Robots are a very low-cost, low-risk approach to diagnosing and treating patients, and as such, we should not expect them to replace a doctor,” he stated.
“I think the NHS needs to make the right decisions when developing and deploying these robots, and not over-estimate the value of these robots.”