Tuesday, 28 June 2016 23:36

Ericsson and King’s College London give tactile robotic surgery the finger with 5G

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5G technology has delivered a surgeon that has "the sense of touch during remote surgery" and it will be demonstrated at 5G World 2016 in London on 29 and 30 June.

The "Remote Control and Intervention" 5G medical use case will show a probe as a robotic representation of a biological finger that gives the surgeon the sense of touch in minimally invasive surgery, and is able to send accurate real-time localisation of hard nodules in soft tissue.

Ericsson and King’s College London say that ‘the probe, or robotic finger, is able to identify cancer tissue and send information back to the surgeon as haptic feedback.’

Visitors to Ericsson's stand at 5G World 2016 in London "will be able to experience 5G latency by controlling the movements of the robotic finger with a haptic glove, and once the probe detects the hard tissue in the simulation it will send a haptic signal back to the user device".

The company says that visitors "will also have visual feedback of what is happening with a close view of the soft tissue model".

Software-defined networking

Ericsson says that "all this goes through software-defined networking, which is configured to provide the necessary quality of service, by implementing networking slicing end to end, one of the newest concepts of 5G".

Valter D'Avino, head of Ericsson Western and Central Europe, said: "Through this 5G simulation demonstration we can show how latency is a critical part of what 5G can deliver, bringing both the sense of touch and an essential real-time video feed to remote surgery."

Professor Mischa Dohler, head of the Centre for Telecommunications Research in the Department of Informatics at King's College London, said "By 5G enabling enhanced minimally invasive remote surgery, the number of applications escalates and the advantages are no longer geographically localised. It enables worldwide mentorship and scalability of diagnosis and intervention."

As for 5G technology moving from test beds in company labs through to "field trial prototypes", you can read about the evolution of Ericsson’s 5G technology here.

Ericsson Kings College 5G


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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