Robot Assisted Laser Hair Removal – The Future?
The current laser hair removal procedure is a manual task where the (human) operator is in charge of guiding the laser applicator uniformly over the area to be treated.
As with any manually-performed operation there is always the chance of human error, however well-trained the operator may be.
We previously analyzed a study reviewing a new tool that would lead to better and more efficient training practices in laser hair removal, but the idea of using a completely hands-free, robotic device is something that really doesn’t seem too far-fetched.
There are already robot-assisted machines in use for the implantation of hair, so why not for the removal of hair? Laser hair removal is the fastest advancing hair removal technology in use today, and there is no reason to see why the robot assisted device would not be part of its future.
What is Robot Assisted Laser Hair Removal?
Today, a laser hair removal operator adds all necessary data to the machine before use, makes sure everything is in place correctly and that the patient is comfortable, and then uses the laser applicator to treat the area, either using the spot by spot or sliding technique.
As the laser is not visible to the human eye it is impossible to be 100% certain that the operator has covered all of the area uniformly.
Concentration and experience will help assure that this is the case, but there really is always the possibility that there is a small margin of error, especially when using the spot by spot method.
The introduction of a robot-assisted device would pave the way for a higher efficiency and a lower error margin, when used correctly and under the right circumstances.
The laser hair removal operator would still be required to configure the machine correctly, and verify that the machine treats the area uniformly by following laser treatment maps in real time; however the laser application itself would be entirely mechanical.
The idea behind this is to see a completely uniform passage over the area to be treated which will eliminate the risk of areas being passed over twice (possible skin damage) and areas being missed (hairs not treated correctly).
This way the risk of a patchy treatment and skin irritations would be reduced even more than they are today. We have reviewed a clinical study on this type of revolutionary device in the world of hair removal and have analyzed the results below.
Clinical Study Review
- The idea of the development of a robot-assisted laser machine is for the device to be able to automatically detect the area to be treated and then to deliver the treatment to the designated area in a uniform manner.
- For testing purposes a laser device, a laser tracking device and a high resolution web cam are attached to a six axis industrial robot's end-effector, controlled by a graphical user interface (GUI).
- This allows for a real time review of the treatment process and the ability to automatically “pick and place”.
The test concluded that the robot-assisted device was able to detect arbitrary shapes correctly as well as deliver the laser uniformly across the shapes.
Location tests and area-per-spot tests were performed and the respective averages of 1.04 mm error and 38.22 mm (2)/spot were deemed satisfactory for a pass of efficiency.
The study therefore concludes that system is both safe and efficient for use in laser hair removal treatments and has a promising future.
With the development of tools to ensure a higher efficacy and safety of laser hair removal techniques during training and the development of new lasers that are safe to use on darker skin tones, it is not surprising that there are also developments in the works of robot-assisted machines that will provide an even more efficient and safe output of the treatment.
Studies are already underway, and those that have been performed have provided highly positive results. With this in mind we can safely say that robot-assisted laser hair removal will most likely be a fixture in the not too far future.