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August 17, 2010 / Martijn

Robot Pills

Pill-sized robotic capsules are under development for screening, diagnostic, and therapeutic procedures. Making robotic capsules reliable for gastrointestinal screening requires the addition of actuators that provide a means of propulsion or tissue manipulation, while two-way, high-speed wireless data transmission of images and instructions is needed to operate the capsule’s moving parts. Controlling the movement of capsular devices within the body usually involves one of two basic strategies—directing movement with onboard actuators, or by magnetic fields generated outside the patient’s body. In addition, imaging sensors, power supplies, and other required tools must be fitted into a device small enough for the patient to swallow comfortably. A third solution is a hybrid approach that combines both internal and external locomotion methods.

via Robot Pills | News | Communications of the ACM.

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