Scientists Develop A Robot That Can Mover Inside Human Body To Deliver Medicine 

In Education

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems have designed a robot inspired by pangolins that can navigate inside the human body. The robot, controlled by magnets, is made of flexible materials resembling the structure of a scaly mammal.

Pangolin-inspired robot delivers medicine and stops bleeding

Despite having metal components, the robot can freely move and change shape using a low-frequency magnetic field. The creation of the pangolin-inspired robot marks a notable advancement in medical technology. This robot possesses a distinctive and adaptable structure, enabling it to move and perform diverse tasks such as medication delivery, bleeding cessation, and more. As technology progresses, the potential achievements of medical robots like this are truly exhilarating to contemplate.

Researchers from the Physical Intelligence Department, headed by Prof Metin Sitti, found inspiration in pangolins’ ability to quickly curl up their bodies. Using this as a model, they created a flexible robot comprising both hard and soft components. Similar to the animal, the robot can rapidly transform into a sphere shape, and it has the added capability of emitting heat when necessary.

Robot made of two layers

In the study published in Nature Communications journal, researchers introduced a novel robot design measuring only two centimetres. The robot comprises two layers, with the first layer composed of a soft polymer embedded with tiny magnetic particles, while the second layer consists of hard overlapping metal elements. This unique combination allows the robot to maintain a soft and flexible structure, making it possible to manoeuvre within the human body. This compact machine has the potential to transport substances like medications and has a future goal of navigating the human digestive system.

This robot can generate heat when exposed to a high-frequency magnetic field, reaching temperatures of over 70 degrees Celsius due to its metal components. This thermal energy can be utilized in various medical procedures, including the treatment of thrombosis, bleeding cessation, and removal of tumour tissue.

Researchers conclude that the pangolin robot is, therefore, an important innovation in modern medicine and could, in the future, reach some of the narrowest and most sensitive regions of the body.

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