A robotized dummy, called "Michelangelo", designed to simulate
cardio pathologies of which it reproduces the respiratory phases, the
movement of the pulsations and impulse and the sounds of the heart. The
robotized dummy represents the first example of a soft robot. The dummy's
body, which consists of a head, two arms and the upper part from the
torso, is made from a special material that simulates the characteristics
of the human body with regard to the sensations of touch and visual image.
In order to be profitably used as a training instrument for
cardiologists, the dummy can be subjected to operations of: inspection,
touch, percussion and auscultation.
Unlike other dummies produced in
the past, the system developed represents a technological revolution and
is included in the design context of automation and robotics, from
automatons to anthropomorphous robots.
The revolutionary aspect of the
dummy, called Michelangelo, is the fact that none of the technologies
applied in other automatic dummies were followed; On the contrary,
Michelangelo was redesigned according to modern microrobotic criteria and
to operating technologies applied to space robots. Particular reference
was made to the Friend robot, designed at the Telerobotics Laboratory of
the Politecnico di Milano, in a contract for the Italian Space Agency.
This simulation enables us to obtain a didactic and training model for
cardiology, which, when combined with an educational software, allows
students to learn about some of the aspects relative to cardio
Michelangelo consists of a body
part, an electric and electronic structure for activation purposes, a
series of electronic cards to control movement and sound, a control and
calculation computer to operate the dummy, an infra-red ray system for the
emission and acquisition of sounds and a radio transmission system for
broadcasting of the cardiological signals emitted by the machine.
main modules are the following:
- the dummy's body;
- the electronic cards;
- the command computer;
- the sound emitters and the
The dummy has:
- a diaphragm, whose movement
simulates the movement of the lungs;
- some pulsation points, situated
at the groin, at the carotid, at the elbow and at the wrist, both on the
left and right sides of the body, for a total of 8 pulsation
- impulse, whose movement
simulates the motion of impulse;
- some heart points, which enable
the heart beat, corpse ending to the chosen cardiac pathology, to be
heard as soon as they are touched.
Respiration is simulated by
controlling a c.c. motor both in terms of position and speed. The
schematisation used simulates respiration with a sequence of three breaks.
Pulsations and impulse are controlled in an ON/OFF mode by suitably
controlling excitation and the release of the solenoids.
electronic cards were designed according to the most advanced industrial
productions for the design of high-tech systems. The electronic cards have
two functions: card 1: motor control for diaphragm motion, card 2:
activation of the pulsation point solenoids, of impulse and handling of
the heart point sensors.
Future developments include the creation of
an adult female dummy and child dummies.
Software developments could
lead to the simulation of developing pathologies which, over time, could
allow patients' reactions to the application of a specific therapy to be
analysed together with an evaluation of behavioural patterns
future development of software could also allow for the creation of other
simulation applications, through the preparation of programs that simulate
disease and recovery, death and birth. Cardiac conditions corresponding to
these processes could also be simulated. Dummy simulations could also be
communicated at teleconferences or via computer networks.