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Monday, September 14, 2009

Israel saving the world, again

It's been a while since I looked at the latest Israeli inventions.

From Israel21c:
Israeli researchers have created a miniature robotic fly that can crawl through your arteries and veins to diagnose and treat what ails you.

A snake-shaped robot sent in through a small incision so you don't have to have open-heart surgery. Robotic marching ants that you can send in to inspect water pipes for leaks. And now the latest research from the Robotics Laboratory at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa: Creepy and crawly fly-like robots that get under your skin for very good medical reasons.

Prof. Moshe Shaham, head of the Robotics Laboratory, and his team have developed a miniature robotic fly, about 0.04 inches in diameter, that can enter the body to diagnose diseases and conditions like blocked arteries and deliver drugs like a bomb to infected tumors.

Based on Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology, the tiny robot crawls through arteries and veins. It is steered by a magnet that's moved over the body from the outside. Its miniscule outstretched arms grip the sides of the vessel walls as it zeroes in on its targeted location.

Currently in the early prototype stages, the researchers plan on scaling down the robot to a 10th of its current diameter - about 100 microns. That will bring it a step closer to much less invasive diagnosis and treatment.

Read the whole thing. It's pretty cool.