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Electronics

Raspberry Pi Powered Stent-Testing Robot

Medical engineering is just one of the important areas where researchers have found a use for the Pi.

This stent-testing robot was designed by Dr Henry J Feldman, chief information architect at Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians.

Stents are small tubes used to prop open a patient’s airway. It’s incredibly important they don’t fail because they keep people alive.

The usual stent-destroying machines are dumb clamps, with no idea whether the stent is breaking or not, so Feldman created something different and more accurate. He developed a system that uses a computer vision and machine learning to identify when a stent fails during testing.

His stent-testing machine works by running the image-recognition library OpenCV on the Pi, which analyses footage of the test captured by the Pi’s camera module. The Pi is augmented by a HAT, which controls the gripper crushing the stent during tests.

The system provides data and images that identify the point of failure more precisely, which in turn allows designers to produce a more resilient stent.

Please check out the raspberrypi.org website for more information.

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