Israeli Scientists Unveil Mini-robot That Can Travel Through Bloodstream

Robot developed by joint team from Technion University and College of Judea and Samaria.

Scientists at the Technion University, teamed with a researcher from the College of Judea and Samaria, have developed a miniature robot that can move within the bloodstream.

Researchers around the world have been trying to develop miniature, remote-controlled robots for minimally invasive medical treatments within the body.

"For the first time a miniature robot has been planned and constructed, that has the unique ability to crawl within the human body's veins and arteries," said Dr. Nir Shvalb of the College of Judea and Samaria on Monday.

"The robot will be able to crawl against the bloodstream with a force typical of blood vessels within the body without any problem, which has not been possible before."

Oded Salomon, researcher at the medical robotics lab in the Technion's engineering faculty, added that the miniaturization achievement is unprecedented, as is the ability to control the robot's activity for unlimited periods of time, for any medical procedure.

For comparison, the diameter of a similar robot which researchers at Kyoto University developed is one centimeter. The Israeli robot's diameter is one millimeter.

The new robot consists of a hub from which tiny arms stretch out, allowing the robot to strongly grip the vessel walls. The operators can manipulate the robot to move in increments, and its special structure allows it to crawl within a variety of vessels with differing diameters.

Blood vessels differ from each other in diameter, making it extremely important for the robot to possess the ability to be able to adjust accordingly.