Vampire Bot Developed
If you like the idea of having
your blood sucked out by a
machine instead of a human
phlebotomist, you'll love the Veebot
robot developed by Veebot LLC
www.veebot.com) — a startup
company in Mountain View, CA.
The company's mission is to "make
the whole procedure of
venipuncture automated to reduce
error and decrease venipuncture
times. This saves hospitals and
clinics money, reduces the risk of
injury to practitioners, and
improves comfort and care for
So far, the machine identifies
the best vein to poke only about 83 percent of the time,
which is no better than a human can do. The company
expects to boost it up to 90 percent before beginning
clinical trials in a few months. The big question is
whether patients will get beyond the creep factor.
The Veebot venipuncture machine aims for more
accurate blood draws.
Go to www.servomagazine.com/index.php?/magazine/article/october2013_Robytes to comment on these topics.
SERVO 10.2013 9
Beer for Me, Vodka for the Fish
As every lounge lizard knows, alcohol is highly useful for dissipating a potential victim's natural fear and
anxiety. It seems to work pretty much the same way in fish, according to a paper published in PLOS ONE,
an international peer-reviewed online publication (
www.plosone.org). Professors Maurizio Porfiri and
Simone Macri revealed the details of an experiment in which some real live zebrafish were placed in a
three-chambered tank with a robotic version of an Indian leaf fish — a natural predator of the zebrafish.
The control (i.e., sober) group avoided the robot completely and stayed in a separate chamber. When other
groups of fish were exposed to ethanol, they no longer bothered to avoid the bot.
In another test, the profs divided a tank into
light and dark compartments and created a
simulated heron attack from the tank's surface. The
sober fish preferred the lighter part of the tank and
successfully avoided the attacker. The drunk ones,
however, hung out in the dark part and were slow
to swim away when attacked.
The abstract doesn't touch on any practical
applications for this knowledge, but if you have ever
had the urge to take a carp up to your hotel room,
this could be helpful. In case you were concerned,
"Acute administration of ethanol causes no harm
and has no lasting effect on zebrafish." So back off,
Robotic Indian leaf fish — scary only if you're sober.