Miniature Robots

July 30, 2007
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Researchers from both Technion and Hebrew University of Jerusalem have developed a model of a miniature robot capable of self-propulsion inside a viscous liquid, which utilizes the high degree of friction to move efficiently. This may have applications in medical nanotechnology—for example, microorganisms and micro-robots “swimming” in the blood or another body fluid. “A robot like this can move through arteries, the digestive system, spinal chord fluid, and the like, and transmit images to the outside—or introduce drugs inside the body,” explained Dr. Alex Leshansky of the Technion’s Faculty of Chemical Engineering.

“A significant reduction of energy loss is an important condition for the success of autonomous micro- and nano-robots that swim throughout the body,” said Leshansky.

Professor Leo Joskowicz—of the Computer-Aided Surgery and Medical Image Processing Laboratory at Hebrew University—and his associates have developed another kind of miniature robot. The novel, image-guided system is used for precise, automatic targeting of structures inside the brain. During surgery, the robot is directly affixed to a head clamp or to the patient’s skull. It automatically positions itself with great accuracy to the surgical targets and serves as a guide for
the insertion of a needle, probe, or catheter.

For more information:
Amos Levav, Technion, 052-452-4873
Dr. Leshansky, lisha@tx.technion.ac.il
 

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