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Selected and edited published applications from recent editions of the patents journal. This month is Category A: 'Human necessities'

A surgical master-slave system

GB2571319A Keith Marshall, Rebecca Anne Cuthbertson, Gordon Thomas Deane CMR Surgical

Typically, in robotic master-slave systems, an operator controls the movements of a number of teleoperated tools using one or more input devices. Consequently, the operator can control the tools without needing to be in the same location as the worksite in which the tools are being manipulated. Image capture devices, such as cameras, and a display for displaying a view of the captured images may be included to provide the operator with a view of the worksite. Some applications of robotic master-slave systems include assembly, maintenance or exploration in hazardous environments, and minimally invasive surgical systems.

In surgical systems in particular, the operator(s) who may be a surgeon, an assistant, a student or a combination thereof can remotely manipulate a number of remote tools (such as surgical instruments) supported by a number of robotic manipulators by manipulating a number of input devices at an operator's console (e.g. a surgeon's console). As well as surgical instruments, the robotic manipulators may support image capture devices, such as endoscopes, to provide the operator with a view of the remote surgical site on a display.

However, methods of controlling the endoscope are inefficient at best. Specifically, the method in which a camera assistant controls the endoscope can lead to delays and errors (e.g. it is possible for the surgeon to become disorientated by the movement of the endoscope frame of reference with respect to the surgeon's position). In the method In which the surgeon uses the input device to control the endoscope, the surgeon needs to stop the surgical procedure before the surgeon can manipulate the endoscope to change his/her viewpoint of the surgical site. In contrast, during normal open surgery the surgeon can move their head in response to a need or stimulus to change their viewpoint of the surgical site while carrying on with the procedure at the same time.

There is, therefore, a need for an improved master-slave system which would allow a surgeon to more intuitively and comfortably change their view of the surgical site while at the same time being able to carry on with the procedure at hand

Accordingly, the present invention provides a master-slave system comprising: a first manipulator supporting a first end effector; a second manipulator supporting a second end effector; an input device configured to concurrently receive from a hand of an operator a first movement command to effect a desired movement of the first end effector, and a second movement command to effect a desired movement of the second end effector; and a processor configured to determine a desired movement of the first and the second end effectors in response to the first and second movement commands received from the input device.

Electrosurgical instrument for ablation and resection

GB2571223A Christopher Paul Hancock; Malcolm White; Peter Clegg; Patrick Burn Creo Medical

The invention relates to a combined ablation and resection instrument, and an energy delivery system. Surgical resection is a means of removing sections of unwanted tissue associated with organs within the human or animal body, such as the liver or the spleen or the bowel. When tissue is cut (divided or transected) small blood vessels called arterioles are damaged or ruptured. Initial bleeding is followed by a coagulation cascade where the blood is turned into a clot in an attempt to plug the bleeding point. During an operation, it is desirable for a patient to lose as little blood as possible, so various devices have been developed in an attempt to provide blood free cutting.

At its most general, the invention (pictured, right) provides an electrosurgical instrument which is capable of simultaneously ablating an area of tissue with microwave energy and performing resection with RF energy. In particular, the invention is concerned with structure for conveying both RF and microwave energy to an instrument tip that is configured to emit the microwave energy in a manner suitable for ablation (e.g. as a substantially spherical field) and to emit the RF energy in a more focussed manner to enable accurate and controllable resection to be performed.

Self-heating insole

GB2571102A Andrzej Rychert

The subject of the patent shall be a self-heating insole [sole]. The insole as invented comprises three layers. The bottom layer is made from a flexible material, e.g. hard rubber or another material that possesses a spring-back characteristic. The middle layer is made from a hard material, e.g. plastics used in production of slide bearings used in machines. The middle layer has holes, hereinafter referred to as cylinders. They are placed 2.5 mm from one other. The upper layer is made from the same material as used in the middle layer. The bottom part of the upper layer has rods, hereinafter referred to as pistons.

When marching, the shoe user pushes down on the upper layer. In so doing, its pistons move down inside the middle layer's cylinders. The pistons force themselves into the bottom layer due to the weight of the user. It Is flexible and behaves as a spring that pushes the pistons upwards again when the weight is taken away.

The combination of all of these activities results in the pistons being in a continuous reciprocating motion inside the cylinders. That causes continuous friction between materials used in the pistons and cylinders, heating the insoles.

Breathable, heat-reflecting textile articles

GB2571264A Nlkhll Kumar Aggarwal; Alexander James Mackenzie Scott; Richard William Mark Crane Heathcoat Fabrics

A breathable, heat-reflecting textile article comprises a fabric consisting of a network of fibres, filaments, yarns or threads of at least one heat-resistant material, wherein the surfaces of at least some of the fibres have a coating of deposited metal. In a preferred embodiment the deposited metal is selected from aluminium, silver and gold. The fibres are preferably formed of carbon, aramid polymers (such as Kevlar (RTM)), polyphenylene benzobisoxazole (such as Zylon (RTM)) or polybenzimidazole (PBI). Preferably the fibres are also at least partially covered by a durable water repellent coating such as a polyfluorocarbon. The textile article has particular usefulness in the construction of breathable, heat-reflecting, light and durable garments for firefighters and others who work in close proximity to fires.

System and method for obtaining thermal image data of a body part, and thermal imager

GB2571379A Aaron Whittam and Rob Simpson NPL Management

People with diabetes are prone to serious ulcers In their feet, which can become infected and ultimately require amputation. Early detection is critical to improve patient outcomes, enabling doctors to intervene to protect the foot before skin breakdown occurs. Medical studies have identified that there is a persistent increase in skin temperature of >2[degrees]C for up to 10 days before skin breakdown takes place. Typically, before there are any visible signs of infection or abnormality in the feet, the skin temperature rises.

If the temperature Increase associated with neuropathy could be accurately identified in a timely manner, it is expected that it should be straightforward to greatly reduce ulceration through (for example) preventative off-loading.

According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a computer-implemented method for obtaining thermal image data of a body part comprising:

* receiving image data of a body part, the image data including thermal image data, the thermal image data including thermal image data of the body part and background thermal image data;

* applying a classifier to the image data to detect a profile of the body part, the classifier being configured to use image data other than the thermal image data to perform the detection;

* generating a mask from said profile;

* applying the mask to the thermal Image data to remove the background thermal image data and obtain thermal Image data of the body part.
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Title Annotation:OFFICE 6796-8
Publication:Engineering Designer
Date:Nov 1, 2019
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