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MAKO Surgical Corp. (MAKO), Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (ISRG): Medicine’s Rise of the Robots

Into the future
The most revolutionary uses of robots in health care aren’t widely available yet but are just on the horizon. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology created Cody, a robotic nurse that can actually bathe an elderly patient. Across the Atlantic, scientists at England’s University of Reading have developed Hector, a robot that helps elderly patients by reminding them when it’s time to take medications and provides help in case the patients fall as well as other providing other assistance.

Toyota debuted several different robots in 2011 that help paralyzed patients. Two of these robots hook on to a patient’s paralyzed leg and guide the leg to bend and move forward — basically, to walk. Another helps a patient to move, perhaps from a bed to the toilet. Toyota hopes to commercialize these robots sometime after the end of this year.

With increasingly more elderly in the U.S. and concerns about shortages of health care workers, these developments are welcome rather than scary. They also present some intriguing investment opportunities. As medicine’s rise of the robots gains momentum, perhaps the sentiment expressed by the rock group Styx in the ’80s will be one held by many Americans: “Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto.” Except maybe now it should be “Dr. Roboto.”

The article Medicine’s Rise of the Robots originally appeared on

Fool contributor Keith Speights has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Intuitive Surgical, iRobot , and MAKO Surgical . The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric (NYSE:GE) Company and Intuitive Surgical.

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