10 Medical Robots That Could Change Healthcare
December 07, 2012 09:06 AM From microbots that scrape plaque from arteries to personal assistant robots that help care for patients, medical robots are transforming the face of healthcare.
Several scientists and researchers around the world are manufacturing "microbots" -- an assortment of free-roaming robots that carry out precise, delicate tasks inside the human body. For example, a minibot named Steerable Surgeons is made 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.
Similar to Steerable Surgeons are microbots such as Robot Pills and Plaque Busters. Robot Pills are designed as 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.
Similarly, Plaque Busters 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.