Medical procedures using lasers could be revolutionised thanks to an AI robot created by a small Sharjah start-up.
Maria Medical Technology makes medical 'cobots' – robots that work collaboratively with humans – and displayed their latest prototype at Gitex, alongside dozens of multinational tech companies like Microsoft and Red Hat.
At their small stand, software engineers Mohamed Osama El Nour and Abdul Wahid Ansari demonstrated how their iLaser aesthetic system works.
Using artificial intelligence and some clever computing, the cobot fires lasers to remove hair from the body with greater precision and care than a human operator.
"This machine is data driven. We use a lot of artificial intelligence and machine learning to overcome human errors," said Mr Ansari, a robotics and AI specialist.
"It starts with skin analysis and uses the Fitzpatrick scale, which analyses skin type, hair type, eye colour and sensitivity.
"This used to be purely a manual process, but we came up with the idea of using a visual system of 3D modelling cameras, which can tell your skin type."
Laser hair removal is a popular aesthetic treatment. The intense heat of the laser damages the hair follicle, which inhibits future hair growth.
Normally nurses or beauty technicians visually judge the patient's skin, and are trained to calibrate the strength of the laser, taking into account the desired outcome and the number of sessions already completed.
With the iLaser, the machine automatically adjusts the strength of the laser according to the patient's level of sensitivity.
Furthermore, the robot ensures the laser moves over the body evenly, without any possible risk of repeat blasts which lead to hyperpigmentation or burning.
The automated process also speeds up the treatment, reducing a full-body laser session lasting four hours, down to only 45 minutes.
This is the first time the Sharjah-based start-up has exhibited at Gitex. Mr Ansari said he hoped their presence at the exhibition would help the company gauge public opinion on the iLaser.
"We want to get feedback from people about what they feel about the machine. This is a data-driven machine, and we need to collect the data, so we can enhance the device."