When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

07 June 2006

Worm-inspired robot crawls through intestines

A robot designed to crawl through the human gut by mimicking the wriggling motion of an undersea worm has been developed by European scientists. It could one day help doctors diagnose disease by carrying tiny cameras through patients' bodies.

The team behind the robot includes scientists from Italy, Germany, Greece and the UK. They modelled it on polychaetes, or 'paddle worms', which use tiny paddles on their body segments to push through sand, mud or water.

'We turned to biological inspiration because, in the peculiar environment of the gut, traditional forms of robotic locomotion don't work,' says Arianna Menciassi, a roboticist from the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa, Italy.

'Worms have locomotion systems suited to such unstructured, slippery environments.'
New Scientist Tech - Worm-inspired robot crawls through intestines

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