Ingestible Origami Robot

The University of Sheffield and Tokyo Institute of Technology have demonstrated a tiny Ingestible Origami Robot that can deliver drug and remove a swallowed button battery or a patch wound.

A team of the researcher of MIT CSAIL has developed a tiny origami robot which can unfold itself from the ingested capsule to complete the particular task within the body.

The robot can remove the objects, and it can patch wounds, or it can deliver medicine at designated locations. This new ingestible robot built on many previous works of origami robots. However, the design of the body is significant.

“It’s exciting to see our small origami robots doing something with important potential applications to health care,” says Rus. “For applications inside the body, we need a small, controllable, untethered robot system. It’s tough to control and place a robot inside the body if the robot is attached to a tether.”

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The challenge with this ingestible origami robot is to find the Bio – Compatible materials that are easy to be controlled and maneuver to the types of operations that are in need from the Robot.

The Ingestible Origami Robot researchers are presenting this at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation later this week. The research group consists of CSAIL (Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) Director Daniel Rus, Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor in (Dept of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) MIT’s.

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To address this challenge, the research has tested over to a dozen different possibilities for the structured material. In United Sates alone some 3,500 swallowed button batteries are reported every year. But Miyashita employed a smart strategy to remove the ingested button cells and treatment of wounds was a compelling application to origami robot.

“This ingestible origami robot is highly creative and highly practical in an elegant way.” says Bradley Nelson, a professor of robotics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich.

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Daniel Rus, Director, MIT CSAIL said that to do more experiments on adding sensors to robots and redesign the Robots so that it could be able to control itself without the need of external magnetic field.