Moving Closer to Robots Swimming Through Bloodsteam

Posted on January 22, 2009  Comments (3)

Pretty cool. Tiny motor allows robots to swim through human body

James Friend, of Monash University, said that such devices could enter previously unreachable brain areas, unblocking blood clots, cleaning vessels or sending back images to surgeons. “The first complete device we want to build would have a camera,” Professor Friend said.

Professor Friend said they had shown the motor, which is a quarter of a millimetre wide, had enough power to navigate this type of nanorobot through the bloodstream of a human artery. Tests of their prototype device in a liquid as viscous as blood were also promising. “It swam.”

The team plans to conduct animal tests of a nanorobot driven by their motor later this year or early next year. But Professor Friend cautioned that many technical hurdles needed to be overcome.

Their miniature motor was connected to an electricity supply and a way would need to be found to power it remotely. The construction of the flagella also needed refinement.

Related: Micro-robots to ‘swim’ Through Veins (post in 2006 on this work)Bacteria Power Tiny MotorBiological Molecular MotorsRobo Insect Flight

3 Responses to “Moving Closer to Robots Swimming Through Bloodsteam”

  1. Brandon Thomson
    January 25th, 2009 @ 6:49 pm

    “Their miniature motor was connected to an electricity supply and a way would need to be found to power it remotely.”

    I wouldn’t get too excited about this. Any battery that is small enough to fit inside of a vein or artery wouldn’t be able to power this device for more than a minute or two. Look at the size of pacemaker batteries; those don’t even have moving parts. A nice idea, but not practical until battery technology improves.

  2. Krystal
    February 6th, 2009 @ 1:04 pm

    Brandon, there are ways to power devices wirelessly. Just take for example, you can run a Van der Graaf Generator and hold a fluorescent tube near it, and the tube will light up every time. That is just a crude example, but it can be done on a smaller scale using similar methods as well. Can anyone say tesla coils? 🙂

  3. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Surgeon-engineer advances high-tech healing
    May 3rd, 2009 @ 4:41 pm

    […] Moving Closer to Robots Swimming Through Bloodsteam – Cardiac Cath Lab: Innovation on Site – Science and Engineering Blogs by curiouscat   […]

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