1981 marked the debut in space of one of Canada’s most iconic symbols: Canadarm. Developed for Canada by MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates, formally Spar Aerospace, the first Canadarm and its descendants, Canadarm 2 and Dextre, are in great part responsible for the successful assembly and operating of the International Space Station. Now, the technology behind these robots is finding its way back to Earth. By the end of 2014, an estimated 24,400 Canadian women will have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Early detection and treatment make a difference and help save lives. Researchers at the Centre for Surgical Invention and Innovation, turned to Canadarm technology to develop IGAR (Image-Guided Autonomous Robot).
It is a promising platform offering one stop diagnosis and treatment for patients with a high risk of breast cancer. Currently undergoing clinical trials, IGAR is one of the first robots of its kind designed to work inside an MRI scanner that can show the size and location of tumours more accurately than a mammogram or ultrasound scan. Thanks to its delicate and precise touch, the robot will be able to perform biopsies with pinpoint accuracy, analyze them and treat early tumours without open surgeries.
The platform will also help in detection and treatment of lung, liver, kidney and prostate cancers and might also be used for delicate spinal surgeries. Thanks to canadian space robotics, this technology is a step towards a future where surgeons can rely on robots to perform intricate medical procedures that will be less invasive, less painful and will allow patients to recover faster.
Canadian Space Agency, Thinking Outside of the Globe.