Would you let a robot draw your blood? Perhaps in the future, you’ll be able to choose an mechanical phlebotomist over a human one.
A California-based startup is trying to build a robot that is able to find a vein and draw blood on its own, IEEE Spectrum reports. The robot’s makers hope it could speed things during clinical trials for drugs, which may require dozens of blood draws.
The robot, named Veebot, is about as accurate as a trained human. Its creators want it to be more accurate than humans before they try to enter it into clinical trials. Once they make their technical improvements, they’ll have to find funding for those trials. All in all, it may be many years yet before Veebot gets to work in hospitals.
Nevertheless, Spectrum has made a video of Veebot at work on real humans. (Perhaps its own makers?)
Check out the Spectrum article for a description of how Veebot uses a combination of infrared light, ultrasound and machine learning to find the right vein.