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Balding? Artas robot ready to harvest your hair

Have a seat and let the robotic hair picker get to work. Sorry, blonds and redheads. It only works on patients with straight brown or black hair.

How would you feel about putting your head in the arms of this robot? Restoration Robotics

If you've tried every potion available to stop your hair loss, you might consider getting a robot to harvest your remaining locks for hair transplant surgery.

The FDA has given clearance to the Artas System, a machine that uses "image-guided robotics to enhance the quality of hair follicle harvesting," according to maker Restoration Robotics.

First the patient sits in the Artas chair, and his hair is cut to about 1 millimeter. A camera-equipped robotic arm under the control of a doctor then initiates "small dermal punches" while harvesting individual follicles.

The follicles are later manually transplanted. They develop blood supplies and gradually produce their own hair over months. No sutures or bandages were required in the prototype (PDF) of Artas, and the company expected to improve extraction rates to 750 to 1,000 follicular units per hour.

The robot technique is apparently quicker and less invasive than strip harvesting, a popular method in which a band of hairy skin is transplanted to a balding area. It requires fewer staff, too.

Artas works on patients with male pattern baldness who have straight brown or black hair, according to the company. If your hair is blond or red, you're out of luck.

But considering the progress of robot-assisted surgery, I bet it won't be long before all hair types can be extracted and implanted by robots alone.

Now when will we start seeing robot barbers?