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Snake-like robots could crawl into your intestine

Mar 29, 2017, 6:38 AM EDT
(Source: Nathan Britton/flickr)
(Source: Nathan Britton/flickr)

David Zarrouk and his team at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev are working on a project that seeks to develop tiny, ingestible snake-like robots, which could one day, slither through humans’ squishy intestines, providing interior views and possibly collecting tissue samples.

The robot, called S.A.W. (single actuator wave-like robot), imitates a smooth, undulating waveform as it travels through curved, tight spaces at a fairly quick pace, all attributes that make it ideal for colonoscopies, writes Live Science.

Although pill cameras have been used to photograph human intestines but they pose a number of problems. For example, they move passively in the intestine, get stuck at certain points, their speed is also slow and they can’t collect tissue samples.

The S.A.W. robot, currently too big in size, could be easily miniaturized and even upgraded to carry cutting tools to take biopsies, or burning tools to stop tissue bleeding, notes Mail Online.

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