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For more than two decades, robots have been part of hospitals and have progressively become a common tool for the clinician. Because this domain has now reached a certain level of maturity it seems important and useful to provide a state of the scientific, technological and clinical achievements and still open issues.
This book describes the short history of the domain, its specificity and constraints, and mature clinical application areas. It also presents the major approaches in terms of design and control including man-machine interaction modes. A large state of the art is presented and many examples from the literature are included and thoroughly discussed.
It aims to provide both a broad and summary view of this very active domain as well as keys to understanding the evolutions of the domain and to prepare for the future. An insight to clinical evaluation is also proposed, and the book is finished with a chapter on future developments for intra-body robots.