People change, and so do our feelings about our tattoos. Either the art wasn't up to snuff, or it healed poorly, or something that we thought we would want forever at 22 becomes something embarrassing by the time we're 40. We've all been there. This is why tattoo removal was invented. 

Lasers are cool and all, but they are incredibly painful and it takes many grueling sessions to get the job done. Some smart folks at Duke University are trying to find a better way and they're looking to robots for some help. 

Now, we aren't phasing out the laser entirely, but using robots to accurately aim them so that they are far more accurate. 

"With our robotic scalpel system, we can more precisely locate and treat the tattoos, without overshooting and damaging surrounding tissue, which happens too much with current handheld laser systems," Dr. Weston Ross said in an interview with MedicalXpress. 

Now, if you are in constant fear of Judgment Day becoming a reality as the robots become self-aware and take over the world, you're probably asking why do we need to get robots involved in the whole situation. Ross has an explanation for that as well.


"Currently, a dermatologist uses a handheld laser, moving it across the surface of the skin," Ross explains. "That causes a lot of damage and pain because of the overlapping that happens when the laser goes back and forth over the image. Using a robot, we can deploy a very tiny laser and trace precisely where the tattoo is—there's no overlapping, no extra damage and you get a uniform removal."

Not only would the process be more efficient, but it would be a lot less painful as well. While we hope all of our tattoos stick with us for life, it would be nice to have a better option to remove them in the future. So keep an eye on this work being done by The Brain Tool Laboratory at Duke Robotics.