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Surprising Science

Robot Doctors, Robot Colleagues

Traditionally used for military purposes, falling costs in robotics are pushing the technology into hospitals, offices and the home. The technology redefines what it means to ‘be’ in a place.

“For years, the military and law enforcement agencies have used specialized robots to disarm bombs and carry out other dangerous missions. This summer, such systems helped seal a BP well a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. Now, with rapidly falling costs, the next frontiers are the office, the hospital and the home. Mobile robots are now being used in hundreds of hospitals nationwide as the eyes, ears and voices of doctors who cannot be there in person. They are being rolled out in workplaces, allowing employees in disparate locales to communicate more easily and letting managers supervise employees from afar.”


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