Ingestible Origami Robot Pill For Non-Invasive Surgery

One day people may be able to eat a tiny robot, like a pill. The robot could then remove foreign objects, patch wounds, or deliver medicine from inside the body. All without invasive surgery.

That day is coming. This robot starts out folded up inside a capsule of ice. Once swallowed, the ice melts, and the tiny robot unfolds in the stomach. Then it can get to work. External magnetic fields control the head of the robot. Its accordion-like body is maneuvered to propel and then cling to the stomach lining. Once the robot has done its job, it is eliminated naturally.

A team of researchers from MIT, the University of Sheffield, and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have put together a demonstration of the robot. In the video, they removed a battery lodged in a model intestine. If a battery gets lodged in the esophagus or stomach lining, it can burn through the tissue. With the origami robot, doctors could remove it remotely.

And yes, the robot does look like bacon. Its body is made of dried pig intestine.

[Source: Youtube]

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