Researchers have developed a hair-restoring robot. New Scientist reports this week that a team from Restoration Robots (RR), in California, have developed a way to speed up hair transplants.
At present, comb-over kings are required to endure ten hours of painstaking surgery during which, initially, a strip of hairy scalp about 1cm wide and 15cm long is removed, the edges of the donor site sutured together and then the hair follicles from the strip are separated out and planted into hair-sparse areas.
Restoration Robot's strategy is different. Their automated system takes just 5 hours to do the job and rather than working from a strip of excised scalp their robot harvests individual hair follices, which are first identified using 3D imaging software and then collected one at a time using a 1mm hollow bore needle. Once the harvest is complete the patient sits up and the machine begins the process of systematically re-implanting the clutch of follicles to produce an acceptable Barnet.
The system is currently being tested on volunteers in California, so if a friend suddenly sprouts a shock of new hair you can assume they've been for some "RnR" in Mountain View, California...