Monday, June 8, 2009

Tiny robot gets under your skin

medicalrobot.jpg

Until we can shrink a submarine full of scientists in skin-tight jumpsuits down to the size of blood vessels, robots will have to do our medical bidding. Dr. Nir Schwalb and Oded Salomon of the College of Judea and Sumaria in Ariel and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology respectively, have developed a tiny robot that is a mere one-millimeter in diameter.

The scientists hope to let these miniature automatons swim through our veins and arteries fixing all manner of maladies, with cancer cells being the primary target (although mining for cholesterol is not out of the question). The robot doesn't carry any onboard power, instead relying on external magnetic forces to propel the device through the bloodstream. There's no word if the mini-bot will be equipped with lasers to fend off attacking white blood cells, because for now, the medical robot, like the above artist's rendition, is only a pipedream

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