Researchers at the University of Colorado's Advanced Medical Technologies Lab have created a tank robot that can actively drive through a person's intestines.
The self-propelled Endoculus system could result in endoscopy procedures that are faster, cheaper, and less risky than the standard method of inserting a camera on a flexible tube into the colon.
The device, measuring 3 cm wide and 2.3 cm high, has four sets of micropillared treads that allow it to navigate the colon mucosa. It also features three-dimensionally printed worm gears, a camera, LED lights, tubes for injecting air and water, and a tool port that can accommodate endoscopy instruments to obtain tissue samples.
In tests involving a live pig, Endoculus traveled up to 40 mm/s without causing any damage.
From IEEE Spectrum
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