Item 2004.22.4475 - Microsurgery Unit. Microsurgery equipment at UCLA.

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31-RG 31.02-2004.22.4475

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Microsurgery Unit. Microsurgery equipment at UCLA.

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  • 1982 Spring (Creation)

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Transparency, Slide, 35 mm

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Copyright held by Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, Calif.)

Digital materials and catalog records are made available for educational and research purposes only and cannot be reproduced, distributed, or published without written permission from Art Center College of Design.

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At Art Center, July 1982: This spring, Chuck Pelly's Advanced Product Design class set out to explore some new applications for today's robot technology. "This was meant as a blue-sky assignment, a stimulus to thinking," Pelly said. "But the projects turned out rather practical and realistic; most of them look feasible to put into operation too." [One of the] Two... most ambitious projects put robotics technology to medical uses. Dan Klitsner and Max Probasco designed a microsurgery unit, to be used by a pair of surgeons performing a particularly delicate procedure such as reattaching a severed finger. This unit allows them to see and "operate on" the injured area as it appears magnified many times on a TV screen. As the surgeons manipulate a set of mechanical devices, a computer translates their motions to forceps working at the minute scale necessary for sewing up tiny veins and nerves. "Usually, the point of robotics is to increase human strength; here it's to reduce it," Dan Klitsner said. "Right now, there are only about fifty people in the country who can do microsurgery. It takes unbelievable skill and steadiness of hand. A microsurgery unit like this one could make it possible for many more surgeons to master the technique."

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