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Dublin: 7°C Sunday 7 March 2021

You can swallow this origami robot and it will help patch you up

The tiny robot can patch wounds, retrieve foreign objects or deliver medicine inside the stomach.

SWALLOWING FOREIGN OBJECTS, accidental or otherwise, might not be a problem we face that often, but the solution could be swallowing another object to retrieve it.

Researchers from MIT, the University of Sheffield and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have created a robot that can act like a surgeon inside your stomach.

Taking the form of a small capsule made of ice, the robot is swallowed by the person and only unfolds when it melts.

robot battery Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)/YouTube

Made from dried pig intestine, the accordion-like robot can be moved around thanks to a magnet that embedded in it.

Using another magnet from the outside, a person could use that to move it around so it can locate an object or problem area.

As well as being able to remove foreign objects, the robot can patch up wounds or deliver medicine to specific parts. 

While some foreign objects pass through the digestive system naturally, others can get stuck (or leak in the case of batteries) and cause problems. This prevents it from getting stuck in the digestive system.

The next step is to test out the robot with in vivo experiments (testing on living creatures), and redesign it so it can move around without any external help.

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)/YouTube

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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