Medical Creepy Crawly Robot

Medical Creepy Crawly Robot

There are, to the knowledge of the general public, many devices and robots in development stages currently which look to aid in medical procedures by effectively reaching where human doctors or instruments cannot. The newest addition being previewed recently to this new wave is the caterpillar inspired device, which has yet to be named. The reason caterpillars, or more accurately millipedes and centipedes, are mentioned in reference to the device is because it has been designed to get around effectively on a multitude of small spindly legs. This medical creepy crawly robot is just one of the areas robotics is being introduced into medicine.

A Medical Creepy Crawly Robot From Hong Kong

The team at the University of Hong Kong is developing it. It is said to measure 17mm in length and 7mm in width, with this whole surface area being completely covered in its tiny little cone-shaped legs. As for the in-depth mechanics of the device, it is made out a soft silicone-like material and gets around by performing a variety of different rocking movements, such as a pendulum pattern allowing it to almost sea saw about. It also contains many little magnetic particles embedded inside it that with applying a magnetic force in the right way allow it to move. The millipede inspired robot is far from a new concept amongst robotics developers, but this incarnation has specific one-ups over its counterparts. One of these is the fact that each leg ends in a tiny little spike shape reducing surface contact by about 40 times, this lets it travel with ease through bodily fluids such as blood or mucus.

Wang Zuankai, who studies the field had this to say, “Both the materials and the multi-leg design greatly improve the robots hydrophobic property.” He continued “Besides, the rubbery piece is soft and can be cut easily to form robots of various shapes and sizes for different applications.” His praise of the bot was proven completely deserved in the tests that have been done. The bot was able to traverse objects much higher than expected. It did this by lifting itself up at an angle and pulling itself. Obviously, this could prove very useful for traversing the rough terrain inside the body. Not only is it able to get around impressively, but it is also presumed that it is capable of lifting weights 100 times its own weight.

“The amazingly strong carrying capability, efficient locomotion, and good obstacle crossing ability make this millepede robot extremely suitable for applications in a harsh environment, for example delivering a drug to a designated spot through the digestive system, or carrying out medical inspection.” This was said by Shen Yajing who happens to be the head researcher in the study.

Obviously, in true developer fashion, the researchers feel that they are from done with their work and are already looking at what new innovative things to implement next into the device in order to make it capable of many medical advancements.

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IURO (Interactive Urban Robot) – Is a part of the EU-STREP project IURO (Interactive Urban Robot), supported by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union, ICT Challenge 2 Cognitive