Tell me honestly - how do you imaginerobots? Perhaps in someone’s imagination huge mechanisms with powerful arms and machine guns are built in immediately. In reality, most robots look extremely boring, but they are capable of much more than a banal shot from a weapon. We recently talked about tiny robots for cancer treatment, and now it's time to talk about robotic “worms” that penetrate the human brain and treat a stroke. Sounds interesting, right?
They were developed by scientists from Massachusetts.Institute of Technology and in the future may well save surgeons from the need to conduct open surgery on the brain. In an article published in the science journal Science Robotics, developers describe their brainchild as "a magnetically controlled, hydrogel-coated robotic thread." The core of the robot is made of an alloy of nickel and titanium, which is moderately hard and has good flexibility.
How does a magnetic robot work?
So, the design of the robot is quite simple, thereforethe question arises - how can he get to the brain? The secret lies in the fact that the core is covered with a layer of rubber with the addition of magnetic particles. Also, on top of this entire structure there is an extra layer of soft hydrogel. Thanks to all this, the robot can be safely placed in a blood vessel and controlled by moving a powerful magnet over the patient’s body.
The developers have demonstrated their technology,by placing a robotic "worm" inside a plastic maze that mimics the human circulatory system. Judging by the video, the researchers can quite easily and accurately control the robot using a magnet placed on top of it. They are sure that the robot will not do any harm to real blood vessels - the hydrogel has extreme softness and gently glides over the sensitive surfaces of the human body.
Want to know more about flexible robots? Read our material about their production.
Robot stroke treatment
Researchers believe that a magnetic robot canit is easy to reach the brain and remove blood clots formed in it. Recall that it is blood circulation disorders in the brain that cause stroke, heart attack and other fatal diseases. Previously, surgeons needed to either perform an open operation or use catheters to eliminate such problems, the movement of which must be monitored using x-ray equipment.
Doctors, of course, do not want to expose themselvesradiation, so magnetic robots for such operations will come in handy. They can be controlled remotely, for example, by placing a robotic arm with a built-in magnet in the operating room. Surgeons will be able to remotely control a magnetic robot and bring it to the brain, also controlling its movements with the help of an x-ray. But at the same time, doctors will not expose themselves to radiation.
Required reading: 10 things that are difficult to teach robots
The question may arise - why patients cankeep under x-ray, and doctors can not? The fact is that patients undergo surgery not so often, but surgeons save lives every day. It turns out that they are exposed to much more radiation than patients. And what do you think - are robots developed in Massachusetts useful? Write in our Telegram chat.