The Spanish startup Overture Life has created something amazing to promote fertility: a robot driven by a Playstation controller (I kid you not) that can fertilize human eggs. It sounds like science fiction, but it's already a reality and has led to the birth of two girls in perfect health.
Come on with joypads
One of the engineers, with no real experience in fertility medicine, used a Sony PlayStation 5 controller to position a robotic needle. Viewing a human egg through a camera, he then propelled himself forward, penetrating the egg and dropping a single sperm. Overall, the robot was used to fertilize more than a dozen eggs.
And the unusual technique, refers the MIT Technology Review, it worked.
That's it? I can already imagine the social phenomena who write things like "it's always been done". (The ones that yell "aah! Robots get our women pregnant" we just skip them). It is however a major upgrade of traditional in vitro fertilization, which currently involves "meeting" eggs and sperm using a special needle under a microscope.
An (electronic) hand to fertility
Traditional IVF is expensive and labor intensive, but startups like this one are working to make the process cheaper and more accessible by automating some parts of it. A welcome hand, in times of severe crisis for fertility.
"An amazing concept," he says Gianpiero Palermo, the doctor who in the 90s introduced the assisted fertilization procedure which is most commonly used today. "Of course, many more improvements are needed to ensure that the whole process is effective."
A perspective considered very promising in any case: for this Overture Life has already raised about 37 million dollars in funding from investors such as the former YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki.
A long way
In summary, Overture Life is certainly an incremental step towards complete automation of the process. Almost the symbol of how a new mindset can help innovate processes everywhere. Also in the field of fertility medicine.
I like to think that a new generation of doctors, tempered by long studies, also puts to good use the hours of "unaware training" spent in front of a video game.