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A Robot that Explores Your Insides

28 June 2011 One Comment

The “Mermaid” is a 1.8 inch long, 0.4 inches in diameter robot that swims through your digestive tract. Using this tadpole shaped capsule doctors can explore you insides collecting imagery in a relatively short amount of time. What makes the Mermaid different from other endoscopic cameras is that unlike them it doesn’t rely on natural muscle contractions to move through the body, it is the world’s first self-propelled endoscopy device.

It can be swallowed to examine the stomach or inserted at the other end for a colon examination. Doctors control the robot using a joystick while watching footage on a monitor. Osaka Medical College professor Kazuhide Higuchi said: “By remotely controlling the capsule, we can precisely photograph the area which needs to be tested,”

So what does this mean for patients? The size of the device and the speed at which it moves makes the procedure a bit more comfortable. According to the doc: “It can examine the digestive canal from the oesophagus to the colon in a few hours. It reduces burdens on patients and can led to the discovery of cancer,”

AFP via PopSci

Dayne Barton
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