Intubation with a laryngoscope often turns from a routine procedure into a life threatening situation when the anesthesiologist fails to secure the airway. Patients with tortuous anatomy around the upper airway, the morbidly obese, and those that have food still present in the throat are just some of the patients that can present difficulties when being intubated.
Robotic system developed by Ohio State University was intended to be able to autonomously snake through the airway while intelligently seeing the path ahead. It takes advantage of a transducer that generates sound waves and a magnetic field externally on the neck. These are detected by sensors near the tip of the device while it is inside the patient, which are converted into 3D images of the internal anatomy that the robot uses as a map while moving through.