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Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Future is Now: The World's First Microrobots

Wired journalist Emmet Cole just published a fascinating article introducing us to an international team of scientists that is currently developing the world's first microrobot. This little critter is supposed to be so small that it can easily swim through someone's arteries and navigate through his digestive system without any problems. Incredible isn't it?

The tiny robot, small enough to pass through the heart and other organs, will be inserted using a syringe. Guided by remote control, it will swim to a site within the body to perform a series of tasks, then return to the point of entry where it can be extracted, again by syringe.

Based on the E. coli bacterium, the microrobot will
use flagella to move through the human body.

It's funny how certain stories can bring back memories from our childhood. In this case, reading this article made me recall an old movie from the 60's called "The Fantastic Voyage", in which a team of scientists shrink a submarine (along with its crew) to microscopic size in order to send it in someone's body and save him from various health problems (If an attempted assassination can be considered a health problem!)

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