Robot Of The Week: Artas Harvests Living Human Hairs, One By One

Could you use a few thousand hairs? This robot can find them.

Artas, the Hair Robot

Restoration Robotics

Artas is the first ever FDA-approved hair transplant robot, designed to accomplish the painstaking, yet technically difficult task of harvesting hundreds to thousands of individual hair follicles from a suitably lush patch of human skin.

Cosmetic surgeons can take the grafts and re-implant them in balding or bare areas. The implanted follicles connect back up with the blood supply and continue growing hairs as before.

Artas works by first taking precision 3-D images of the scalp and measuring the angle and depth of each hair follicle. Next, it goes in and punches individual hair follicles out of dense areas, leaving enough behind to keep those areas looking suitably hirsute:

Here's a closer look at how the dual-system needle works--the first needle goes in and makes a tiny incision, and then the second, hollow needle punches through and pulls out the follicle:

Artas is currently being used by about 20 surgeons in the U.S. and Canada, and was introduced to the UK earlier this year. A spokesperson for Restoration Robotics, the company behind the robot, says it will soon be available in Korea.