, a start-up in Mountain View, Calif., is hoping to automate drawing blood and inserting IVs by combining robotics with image-analysis software. To use the Veebot system, a patient puts his or her arm through an archway over a padded table. Inside the archway, an inflatable cuff tightens around the arm, holding it in place and restricting blood flow to make the veins easier to see. An infrared light illuminates the inner elbow for a camera; software matches the camera’s view against a model of vein anatomy and selects a likely vein. The vein is examined with ultrasound to confirm that it’s large enough and has sufficient blood flowing through it. The robot then aligns the needle and sticks it in. The whole process takes about a minute, and the only thing the technician has to do is attach the appropriate test tube or IV bag.