Here is a project from the folks at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London, and its Mechatronics in Medicine Laboratory, who are bent on developing an “active robot designed to take blood samples from the ante-cubital fossa…”
The Bloodbot identifies the location of a suitable vein by pressing a probe against the surface tissue of the ante-cubital fossa and measuring the force on the probe. The difference in the characteristics of the tissue from its surroundings, in response to the applied force, indicates the presence of a vein.
Once a suitable vein has been found, it inserts a needle under force control. When the needle penetrates the vein (identified by its force/position profile), the control system prevents further insertion, thus avoiding overshooting the vein.
We think they need to combine this robot with VeinViewer for a more accurate, and probably spookier, experience.
The Bloodbot Project…
Flashbacks: VeinViewer Shipped!; First Hospital To Use The VeinViewer ; Video of VeinViewer; VeinViewer Off to Europe; Vein Contrast Enhancer
(hat tip: DVICE)