Special to Emmaus Patch By Chrissy Cilento, Emmaus High School Junior
For decades now, robots have been represented under various lights. They’ve been friendly and comedic, like WALL-E and C-3PO. They’ve been menacing and dangerous, like Terminator and the armies of androids who try to take over the world in I-Robot. What people aren’t as familiar with, however, is the beneficial side of robots: the robots that save peoples’ lives.
The Lehigh Valley Health Network is taking the use of robots to the ultimate level. The Robotic Surgery Patient Care Team has recently completed more than 1,500 surgeries and is known to have the most robotic surgery experience in the region. Thanks to LVHN’s robotic expertise, patients enjoy an expedited recovery period as well as less post-surgery pain. Gynecologic oncologist and Robotic Surgeon Dr. Martin Martino looks at robotics as the mechanism of the future: “Robotic surgery has been developed to offer patients a newer approach to traditional open surgery. Just as technology has evolved with cell phones from the older flip phones to the newer iPhones with apps, so have our surgical tools.”
In order to raise awareness for LVHN’s robotics program, Dr. Martino and other surgeons have organized a series of events called "12 Days of Robotics." Dr. Martino needed students to get involved with "12 Days" by spreading the word to their friends and classmates, so he appointed me to be the student coordinator. I've been working through Facebook to stir up some community involvement in "12 Days" by creating events and pages, and in addition am also trying to organize groups of students from Emmaus High School to participate in the events. The science department at EHS has been notified of the educational value that "12 Days" offers, so students interested in healthcare can get a firsthand account of what they may one day experience. In addition, I hope to get Emmaus' robotics club involved so they can see the various applications of robotics in real life.
Don't go thinking this event is all educational though: it's meant to be fun, too! All of the events that make up "12 Days of Robotics" are intended for the entire family's enjoyment.
One such event is the Simulated Olympics. People of all ages are invited to compete for glory in this virtual competition, in either an adult or junior category for children under 10. Competitors will scramble to stack as many objects as possible using a sort of robotic video game in 120 seconds. If you’re a master at Wii sports, then this is the competition for you! Qualifying rounds for the Olympics will be held at the Agri-Plex at the Allentown Fairgrounds on April 14 from 10-4 p.m. and at Kome at the Promenade Shops on April 24 from 12-7 p.m. The top 16 scorers will move onto the final round on April 25 from 6-8 p.m. to see who will emerge the victor, winning a gold medal and a new iPad - with second place (silver medal) winning an iPod Touch.
If competition isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other ways to get involved. For you bookworms: by purchasing merchandise at the Promenade Shops’ Barnes and Noble or at barnesandnoble.com starting April 24 under the ID #10734598, you donate a portion of your bill to LVHN’s Gynecologic Cancers, Research and Robotics Fund. This fund is used to develop new robotic treatments for surgeries, as well as research and educate through LVHN’s Network Scholars Program.
Kome will also be in on the action, donating a percentage of its sales from April 24 to the Research and Robotics Fund. In addition, that night starting at 5 p.m., surgeons from Lehigh Valley Health Network will step out of their surgical theater and into the kitchen! They’ll whip up some delectable sushi for the crowd in an effort to win eternal sushi fame! This year will be the second Sushi Surgeon competition, however this time it comes with a twist: one of the robots will be present to show the crowd what he’s capable of!
Chrissy Cilento, a junior at Emmaus High School, plans to study journalism in college. She is a periodic contributor to Patch.