Japanese researchers have developed a prototype miniature robot that can be inserted through an incision and used to perform medical procedures deep inside the body.
Researchers from Ritsumeikan University and the Shiga University of Medical Science have developed a prototype that is controlled remotely once placed inside the body. The beetle-shaped robot, weighs five grams and measures two centimeters (0.79 inches) in length and one in diameter.
The tiny robot incorporates various medical devices including a small camera, sensors and a drug delivery injector, which could reduce the need for surgery.
Miniature robots used thus far have been designed to be swallowed and they can only take pictures and gather information.
Now the researchers have experimented with 5 different variations of the device to test functions like capturing images, taking tissue samples and administering medicines.
The robot is positioned and guided using an MRI of the patient taken pre-surgery, and an attached mini-cable relays information and images back to a computer during the procedure.