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Robotic Tank Is Designed to Crawl Through Your Intestine

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The robot gets around with four sets of treads, angled to provide better traction against the curved walls of your intestines.

The University of Colorados Advanced Medical Technologies Lab has been working on a tank robot thats able to actively drive itself through your intestines.

Credit: Advanced Medical Technologies Lab/University of Colorado

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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