Storytellers and scientists alike have long dreamed of miniature robots that can roam the human body, sniffing out disease and repairing organs. You may recall the old science fiction flick Fantastic Voyage (1966), in which a submarine and its crew are shrunk to the size of a microbe and sent into the bloodstream of an eminent scientist to destroy a blood clot in his brain.
Microbots in healthcare have greatly revolutionized the healthcare arena. Gone are the days of medical dilemma where the physician pondered with endless doubts on diagnoses of difficult diseases. Technology has come to the rescue of today’s medical community in form of microbots!
What are these microbots??
Microbots are in fact the an assortment of free-roaming robots that carry out precise, delicate tasks inside the human body.
Steerable Surgeons – It consists of flat nickel parts assembled to make a 3-D tool that can be used during retinal surgeries, in drug therapy and for ocular disease. Its power sources are external electromagnetic coils, and it uses magnetic field gradients as a steering mechanism.
Robot Pills – It is a capsule that contains a magnet, camera, wireless chip and a set of mechanical legs. It’s powered by DC motors and magnets outside of the body, and it uses a camera and wireless telemetry system. The Robot Pill is about two centimeters long and clinicians use it in disease screening.
Plaque Busters – These are magnetic capsules equipped with a micro drill head. Surgeons use these microbots, which are 10-mm long, to remove plaque from arteries. They’re powered by electromagnetic coils and use magnetic field gradients to steer.
It can be safely concluded that technology today has revolutionized the medical field.