Robot Candystriper

Not the most attractive or humunoid of robots, this particular piece of equipment is being called Sister Mary and is part of a trial run by the department of biosurgery and surgical technology at Imperial College. Basically, it allows doctors to look at patients remotely, though it may be a little jarring to see your doctor's talking head in this thing.

Sister Mary is 5' 3" and weighs 215 lb. She's also got a camera and tilting screen, runs Windows XP Professional and operates over a wireless 802.11b network that provides a data stream of 600 kilobits per second each way. The control center for the doctor consists of a double screen, Webcam and joystick for controlling the robot.

Obviously, it will allow for remote patient consultations but it could also be used for training medical staff remotely as well.

But the real question is, how will patients take to being dealt with by robots rather than human beings. Even if your doctor is there on the screen, I can't imagine this is going to make you feel 100%, especially if you're dealing wits something life threatening. But it could save time and help doctors get through rounds quicker.

Robot displaces candy stripers
[news.com]