The concept for Medi-bot came to us while we we're discussing the human limits of precision and how in many workplaces that can be a considerable hindrance. Many invasive surgical procedures require precision beyond what a human has in order to minimize the damage done
What it does
Medi-bot is a modular surgery bot with an arm like structure. The four joints allow for a full 3-axis of movement and for smooth movement to and from one position to another. It's wrist fixture is built with the intention that it can be fixed with modules that serve different purposes. In the demo video, it was shown holding a scalpel (razor blade)
How we built it
Medi-bot's build can be broken down into two components. The arm structure, and the control system. The arm structure was planned to be built using 3D printed segments that fit together perfectly. These segments were given round edges to make to safe to handle. Unfortunately, the light fabrication facility (lff) choose to stop printing at 6pm and we could not get our component done despite sending them in only 2 hours after hacking started. The control system is composed of servo motors and Raspberry Pi Pico. The servos take input from the Raspberry Pi Pico and move the arm to the wanted position.
Challenges we ran into
The first difficulty we had was that the 3D printed components we needed could not be made in time. We worked speedily at the beginning to make sure that the arm could be properly tested. The arm is presently built using carved pieces of wood that we layered together. Another difficulty that persistently hindered us was the fact that 3/4 team members had a midterm assessment due Sunday at midnight. The 3 of them were moving back and forth from team calls and report writing whilst also making components was not easy. Further, as we built our arm, due to the wood being fairly heavy, the structure was not stable and could not be fully supported by servos. We had to add a Lego structure to support it at the base.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are very proud of the precision movement. With so many moving components, it was a fairly difficult task to translate the servo positions to (x,y,z) coordinates.
What we learned
We learned that even though things may not always work out the way you planned, it's possible to make things work.
What's next for Medi-bot: surgical assistant
We want to implement it using the proper 3d printed components. We want to create more modules and implement more functionality. One idea we have is to create a claw that can allow the bot to garb and release a needle for doing suturing.