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Scientists develop miniature robot

Israeli scientists have developed a miniature robot that can crawl within the human body's veins and arteries to treat body ailments.

world Updated: Jun 27, 2007 17:32 IST

Israeli scientists have developed a miniature robot that can move within the bloodstream aiding minimally invasive medical treatments within the body.

Scientists at the Technion University in Haifa teamed up with a researcher from the College of Judea and Samaria to develop the mini-robot which has a diameter of one millimeter, daily Ha'aretz reported.

"For the first time a miniature robot has been planned and constructed, that has the unique ability to crawl within the human body's veins and arteries," Dr Nir Shvalb of the College of Judea and Samaria was quoted by the daily as saying.

"The robot will be able to crawl against the bloodstream with a force typical of blood vessels within the body without any problem, which has not been possible before," Shvalb added.

Oded Salomon, a researcher at the medical robotics lab in Technion's engineering faculty, said that the miniaturisation achievement is unprecedented as is the ability to control the robot's activity for unlimited period of time for any medical procedure.

The diameter of a similar robot developed at the Kyoto University is one centimetre, the report said.

The new robot consists of a hub from which tiny arms stretch out, allowing the robot to strongly grip the vessel walls.

The operators can manipulate the robot to move in increments, and its special structure allows it to crawl within a variety of vessels with differing diameters.