Israeli engineers have experienced a small odnostoronnego robot, placing it in pig intestines. Reducing wave motion mechanism, he was able to crawl along the walls.
Many types of diagnostics of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are carried out with the help of endoscopy in which the doctor examines the surface of the organs, as well as certain types of examination may conduct a biopsy. This allows you to identify the early stages of a serious illness, for example, colon cancer, and thus significantly improve the prognosis compared with detection after the appearance of noticeable symptoms. But often endoscopic research is conducted using semi-rigid probes that cause patients pain, and a lot of people refuse diagnosis because of this, so the engineers are working on the creation of robotic endoscopes, which are capable of independently and safely pass through the gastrointestinal tract.
Often these robots are used for the movement of the peristaltic movement — that is, alternating longitudinal cuts and transverse expansion. David Zarruk (David Zarrouk) and Lee-Hee Drori (Lee-Hee Drori) from the University named after Ben-Gurion was used for the same task the robot SAW with unusual wave-like motion mechanism. The robot engineers showed at the end of 2017. It has a simple mechanical design: it consists of many connected parts and passing through them in a spiral, attached to the motor. When the motor starts to rotate, the spiral rotates for him and the links begin to move like a wave.
The developers from the very beginning assumed that the robot can be used in medicine as a stand-alone endoscope, but until recently felt it only in the artificial tubes and similar structures, and now has shown his work in a real fragment of the porcine intestine:
In the video you can see that the robot front connected cables, but they are only used for power and control, and do not pull it forward. It is worth noting that in the video the robot is quite much rests on the wall of the intestine and stretches it, which could cause discomfort of the patient in the case that the endoscope of this design will be used in practice.
In 2017, the Japanese demonstrated a prototype self-propelled robot bronchoscope using peristalticheskogo movement. Its peculiarity is that it is able to rotate and select the desired branch bronchial tree.