Medical Robotics

Robots Worming Through Your Colon?

Posted 14 Jun 2005 at 14:24 UTC by The Swirling Brain Share This

A team of biologists and engineers at Case Western Reserve University has developed two flexible robotic devices that could make invasive medical procedures such as colonoscopies safer for patients and easier for doctors to administer. The first robotic device creates the locomotion which draws on an understanding of how slugs, leeches and earthworms traverse their environments and grasp objects. The device is constructed of three artificial muscules and looks like a nine-inch long hollow worm. Sequencing the muscles mimicking the undulating movement of slugs and worms propels the device forward. Also, a gripper device has been developed that mimics the way hungry California sea slugs grasp slippery seaweed. The gripper consists of a four-inch, ball-like device, surrounded by muscle-like actuators in the form of tubes or rings where one of the tubes contains a mouth that opens and closes. So how would you like one of these roaming through your colon?

Captions, posted 14 Jun 2005 at 15:22 UTC by roschler » (Master)

"I'm sorry sir, you are suffering from hemorrandroids."

"Going where no robot has gone before."

"Honey, the strangest thing happens now when I use the TV remote control."

"With a little GPS, you are locatable by colon-jack."

"The extra $1000 charge is for that big burrito you ate which destroyed the colonbot."

Ok, I'll stop now. :)

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