Robotic Glove Detects Breast Cancer Lumps

The human hand is good and all, but it doesn’t hold a candle to a robotic glove covered with micro-ultrasound machines

Bring together two engineers and a Harvard Medical School student, expose them for 10 weeks to lofty ideas about changing the world from people like X Prize Founder Peter Diamandis and futurist Ray Kurzweil, ask them to create a team project that could positively impact 1 billion people in 10 years, and what do you get? Med Sensation, a project spun out of Singularity University’s graduate studies program that aims to make your checkups at the doctor’s office more robotic.

The Med Sensation glove, now in its second iteration, is outfitted with sensors that can detect vibrations, sound, and temperature--and it features an accelerometer and a buzzer system for items that require immediate attention. "If you apply too much pressure on the examined tissue, then the buzzer goes on," explains team member Elishai Ezra.

The third version will come with micro-ultrasounds on the glove fingertips. All the information derived from a glove-guided examination can be wirelessly transmitted to an outside device. "The idea is to quantify touch," says Ezra.