Japanese Researchers introduce Micro Medical Robot
The Japanese researchers from Ritsumeikan University and its partners have developed a prototype model of the miniature medical robot. The beetle-shaped robot weighs five grams and measures two centimeters (0.79 inches) in length and one in diameter. Unlike previous minirobots which were swallowed and could only capture images, this robot is capable of perform treatments inside the body.
The prototype miniature robot is inserted through an incision and used to perform medical procedures, remove or treat the affected part of disease especially cancer deep inside the human body. It is currently being used at the Biwako Kusatsu campus of the university in Kusatsu city. The researchers developed five different prototypes with various medical devices such as a small camera, sensors, tiny forceps for taking tissue samples and a drug delivery injector, which could reduce the need for surgery.
MRI images of the patient taken in advance serve as a map for navigating the minibot, which is said to have performed swimmingly in tests on animals. Sensor and image data is relayed back to a computer via an attached 2-mm diameter cable, which can also serve as a safety line in case the minibot gets lost or stranded.