Title: Biorobotics: an Instrument for Increasing Communication
between Biomedical Technologies and the Quest for an Improved Quality of Life.
Author: prof. Alberto Rovetta N. AJ-1
Today, cancer and other diseases - once deemed incurable - are now being combated by new therapies using innovative methodologies together with the weapon of intelligent prevention. Medical biorobotics has demonstrated that it is possible to perform surgery not only safely and with great precision - but repeatedly, too.
Maintenance of the quality of human senses, complete control of the nervous system, activation of neuron circuits, the development and healing of complex brain functions, action of the cerebellum, amygdale activity, recovery of damaged neuromotor functions, rehabilitation of vocal chords, and neuromotor system control following devastating diseases such as Parkinsonís and Alzheimerís are just some of the scientific developments linked to biology and biorobotics. Cancer forecasts and cures have required some of the most advanced technologies to reduce biological damage to individuals and improve their quality of life.
Could biorobotics offer a decisive contribution? How many hours have been invested in simulating human body functions, the human brain and human behaviour? The models developed can be applied to support human body activity in the face of either structural, age, or disease-related deficiencies. Could the diagnosis of disease forecasts be assisted by the results of biorobotics?
It is necessary to bear in mind manís aversion to anything new, unexpected or unforeseeable, a refusal that is inherent in human nature. However, it is necessary to conquer these fears when one realises that innovation can benefit mankind as a whole, and not merely the individual.
Leading elements are transplants of the cornea, lungs, liver, heart, pancreas, bone marrow, kidneys, the replacement of arteries and veins, or the grafting of artificial skin. Today there are numerous hip and artificial knee prostheses. Pace-makers, by-passes and cartilage transplants are everyday occurrences. Artificial sight has been implemented, and damaged parts of the nervous system have been grafted. Today, healing by means of the insertion of electronic brain chips for Parkinsonís may be employed with confidence of good safety margins. These factors have changed expectations regarding the quality of life and longevity. Other problems, especially macroeconomic ones, exist and will continue to present themselves in an attempt to stall technological and scientific innovation; these could easily overlap with ethical and religious considerations.
The religious and ethical sense of life could become a psychological and moral stimulus in the face of the enormous difficulties that, though likely to emerge, will be overcome with time. The religious and cultural bases of all faiths and civilisations with their myths, sacred texts and psalms do not exclude the possibility of prolonging life; quite the contrary - according to numerous interpretations, life is often considered eternal.