Documenting the Coming Singularity

Friday, July 31, 2009

This robot may make your skin crawl

Editor's Note: The hope of researchers is that this robot can not only fit anywhere in the human body but can crawl there under its own power and, once there,perform whatever functions are needed.

American Technion Society - July 7, 2009, by Kevin Hattori

Technion researchers have created a micro robot that can crawl through the human body.

Moving reality a step closer to "Fantastic Voyage," researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed a micro robot that can crawl through the human body.

The robot is propelled by micro legs, a mechanism especially adapted to the movements of a tiny body through water. It is only a millimeter in diameter and 14 millimeters long, fitting on the tip of a finger, so it can get into the body’s smallest areas. It is powered by either actuation through magnetic force located outside the body, or through an on-board actuation system. Made of silicone and metal, it can be made completely biocompatible, so it could remain in the body much as a stent placed in arteries does.

“In the future, we hope the robot will be able to travel through a blood vessel, the digestive tract or the lungs, delivering targeted medicines to specific locations, clearing blockages, performing biopsies, or placed inside a shunt to drain body fluids from clogged areas,” Shoham explains.

The development has been presented at scientific conferences where it has aroused great interest. Professor Menashe Zaaroor and research engineer Oded Salomon also participated in the research.

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