Research and Develop a Robotic Assistive Device to Revolutionise Dentistry

Engineering, IT, Mathematics and Statistics

PLEASE NOTE

  • This internship is able to cover project costs for domestic students only.
  • The Industry Partner has implemented appropriate preparations to comply with Federal and State Government requirements regarding COVID-19 safety. Due to remote arrangements, this internship is now accepting applications from eligible PhD students nationwide.

ABOUT THE INDUSTRY PARTNER

Dentroid Technologies (originally Emudent Technologies) is a Canberra based start-up developing a robotic surgical assistance device for dentists. The mini device is attachable directly onto target teeth and operable through a control panel to deliver rapid, ultra-precise and needle/noise free treatment, thus overcoming most of the barriers to quality dental care. The device will use lasers rather than turbines to effect tooth cutting (ablation).

With its powerful cameras, image analysis algorithms, artificial intelligence and data sharing capabilities, the device will assist dentists in making precise diagnostic and surgical decisions in real time. As such, there will be less need for radiographs, and human errors will be reduced.

The technology also represents a platform for mobile and tele-dentistry, with particular benefit to rural and disadvantaged communities. The technology can be swiftly deployed to deliver dental services in areas affected with epidemics or disasters. To this end the clinician can control the device remotely, with the final restoration produced on location by pairing to commercially available and affordable dental milling machines or 3D printers.

The COVID-19 crisis made dentistry one of the riskiest professions due to aerosol generations and physical proximity. Their technology might be the only potential solution to ensure practice continuity under social distancing restrictions.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?

  • Opportunity to collaborate with the Co-Founders/CEO/CTO
  • Ability to learn from engineering professionals around “cutting edge” robotic technology
  • Improve engineering, project design and teamwork skills in an innovation company

RESEARCH TO BE CONDUCTED

The project aims to further develop and miniaturise the existing proof of concept prototype (currently at 3x the anticipated size below) into an advanced working version for the Dentroid Device which has 3 modules:

  1. Intra-oral module: A small device (2 cm in X dimension, 2 cm in Y dimension and a maximum of 2 cm in Z vertical dimension). This will house micro motors (steppers, servo or else) to move a cutting tip in 3 dimensions (more degrees of freedom will be required later). Other components are sensors and micro cameras. The cutting tip will use lasers.
  2. Cables and delivery system: This is the connection between the intra-oral module and the extra oral unit. It will host fiberoptic cables, power, etc.
  3. The extra-oral module: This will consist of the digital input means (a joystick), processors, laser resonator and so forth.

The intra-oral module will be attached to teeth by means of clamps. Once in place, the dentist will use the cameras (and built in analytics) to reach a diagnosis then will operate the assembly using the joystick to induce laser ablation. The geometric data can be shared with an external 3D printer or milling machine to build the restoration.

SKILLS WISH LIST

If you’re a PhD student and meet some or all the below we want to hear from you. We strongly encourage women, indigenous and disadvantaged candidates to apply:

Dentroid requires the help of a hands-on researchers to assist in developing the next prototype. Preferably the candidate’s capabilities are:

  • Strong understanding of high power lasers including flash-pumped, Er:Yag lasers and their application in ablating hard materials (such as bones or dental tissues)
  • Ability to identify, design, procure and handle laser and optical components that can withstand high power lasers, with particular emphasis on delivery media (wave guides, articulated arms, fiberoptics)
  • Hands-on practical skills in aligning, coupling, assembling and testing laser and optical components including resonators, delivery media, mirrors, windows and lenses
  • Ability to assess and profile laser beam characteristics and effects
  • Desired but not essential: understanding of MEMS and micro components/systems to be used in controlling the laser beam to scan and ablate substrate
  • Courage to make mistakes and learn from failure!

RESEARCH OUTCOMES

As mentioned under Point 5 Above, the desired outcome will be:

  • Assisting in developing a functional prototype able to perform ablation on hard dental tissue particularly dental enamel

ADDITIONAL DETAILS

The intern will receive $3,000 per month of the internship, usually in the form of scholarship payments.

It is expected that the intern will primarily undertake this research project during regular business hours and maintain contact with their academic mentor throughout the internship either through face-to-face or phone meetings as appropriate.

The intern and their academic mentor will have the opportunity to negotiate the project’s scope, milestones and timeline during the project planning stage.

LOCATION:
Canberra, ACT or can be completed remotely
DURATION:
5 months
CLOSING DATE:
07/10/2020
ELIGIBILITY:
Domestic students only
REF NO:
APR - 1571

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