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Surgical snakebots crawl down your throat

Darren Murph
December 21, 2006
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The Johns Hopkins University must employ some seriously bright folks, as researchers at the school are unveiling yet another marvel to benefit mankind, and this time their creation is headed for the nooks and crannies within your body that surgeons have difficulty reaching unassisted. Sure, the diminutive locales within your guts have been explored by robotic creatures before, but these "snake-like robots" could enable surgeons, operating in the narrow throat region in particular, to make "incisions and tie sutures with greater dexterity and precision." The invention consists of two thin rods tipped with "tentaclelike tools" capable of moving with six degrees of freedom; during surgery, the doctor would utilize a 3D visualization system to watch, control, and dictate the robotic tubes. Moreover, the snakes are crafted from nonferrous metals so it can be used around magnetic imaging equipment, and considering its ability to "make up 100 adjustments per second," nimbleness is in its nature. But if you're not exactly fond of such slithering creatures, you've still got time to escape, as researchers estimate that there's still about "five more years" of lab testing before we see Snakes on a Hospital Bed.

[Via Physorg]



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