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Medical robotics come to Kaiser (photos)

At Kaiser Permanente's Garfield Center for Innovation, the health care giant is testing new robotics technologies.

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Rafe Needleman

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1 of 10 James Martin/CNET

New hospital rooms

OAKLAND, Calif.--At Kaiser Permanente's Garfield Center for Innovation, the health care giant is testing not just robotics, but new, more efficient hospital room designs.

Kaiser held a demonstration day at the center Thursday for physicians and health care professionals to check out, and give feedback on, future technologies being evaluated for rollout.

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Every breath you take

The future hospital room is being used to test new medical monitoring devices, like this respiration sensor, which uses Doppler radar instead of wired sensors to read a patient's breathing rate.
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House call

In a mock-up home of a Kaiser patient, this prototype medical terminal can collect data from home devices like blood pressure cuffs, and also allow doctor-patient video communication.
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Watching you

A new Roomba with a camera mounted on it can be used to help families check up on their home-bound relatives. The floor-level camera might give a somewhat unflattering view, though.
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Robot legs

Here, Berkeley Bionics' eLegs system helps paraplegic Ted Kilroy walk. The crutches contain pressure sensors and help signal the rig to move Kilroy's legs.
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Backpack legs

The eLegs system uses a battery pack and electric motors, unlike Berkeley Bionics' other exoskeleton, the military HULC system, which uses hydraulics.
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Have a drink

Kinova's Jaco arm is designed to help people with limited upper-body mobility perform daily tasks like feeding themselves. It can be controlled by a joystick or other interface.
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Soft touch

The Jaco's end effectors are flexible fingers. They're strong enough to lift a few pounds but they can't do any real damage to people if wrongly directed.
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Robodoc

SRI International is still working on its telemedicine system, which lets a surgeon control a pair of manipulators from around the globe. This system is being tested by the military.
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10 of 10 James Martin/CNET

With feeling

The control station for the remote surgery lets the physician see in 3D and feel what the manipulators are doing.

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