We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
Feather Safety Razor

Download Mobile App


ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, many events are being rescheduled for a later date, converted into virtual venues, or altogether cancelled. Please check with the event organizer or website prior to planning for any forthcoming event.

Unfolding Origami Robot Helps Retrieves Ingested Artifacts

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 26 May 2016
Print article
Image: The ingestible capsule and the unfolded origami robot (Photo courtesy of Melanie Gonick / MIT).
Image: The ingestible capsule and the unfolded origami robot (Photo courtesy of Melanie Gonick / MIT).
A new study describes how a tiny origami robot steered by external magnetic fields crawled across the stomach wall to remove a swallowed button battery.

Developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA), the University of Sheffield (United Kingdom), and the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan), origami is a functional three-dimensional (3D) robot than can be actuated on-demand for untethered walking and swimming. The rectangular robot has accordion folds perpendicular to its long axis, and pinched corners that act as points of traction.

Structurally, it consists of a heat-sensitive layer sandwiched between two structural layers that form a sheet 1.7 cm3 in size. A pattern of slits in the outer layers determines how the robot will unfold when the middle layer is thermally activated. At the center of one the forward accordion folds is a permanent cubic neodymium magnet that responds to changing magnetic fields outside the body. The forces that control the robot’s motion are principally rotational; a quick rotation will make it spin in place, but a slower rotation will cause it to pivot around one of its fixed feet.

Since the robot has asymmetric body balance along the sagittal axis, it can walk at a speed of 3.8 body-lengths per second while under control of the alternating external magnetic field. The origami robot propels itself using a “stick-slip” motion, in which its appendages stick to a surface through friction when it executes a move, but slip free again when its body flexes to change its weight distribution. The robot is made of a biocompatible, acetone-degradable material that allows the entire robot’s body to vanish in a liquid.

In experiments involving a simulation of the human esophagus and stomach, the robot unfolded itself from an ingestible capsule, and steered by external magnetic fields, crawled across the simulated stomach wall to remove a swallowed button using its cubic neodymium magnet. It then degraded. The origami robot was presented at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, held during May 2016 in Stockholm (Sweden).

“It’s really exciting to see our small origami robots doing something with potential important applications to health care,” said study presenter Professor Daniela Rus, PhD, director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). “For applications inside the body, we need a small, controllable, untethered robot system. It’s really difficult to control and place a robot inside the body if the robot is attached to a tether.”

Related Links:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Sheffield
Tokyo Institute of Technology

Print article
IIR Middle East


Critical Care

view channel
Image: Three dimensional measurement of the all-mesh thermistor (Photo courtesy of Shinshu University)

Ultraflexible, Gas-Permeable Thermistors to Pave Way for On-Skin Medical Sensors and Implantable Devices

On-skin medical sensors and wearable health devices are important health care tools that must be incredibly flexible and ultrathin so they can move with the human body. In addition, the technology has... Read more

Patient Care

view channel
Image: The biomolecular film can be picked up with tweezers and placed onto a wound (Photo courtesy of TUM)

Biomolecular Wound Healing Film Adheres to Sensitive Tissue and Releases Active Ingredients

Conventional bandages may be very effective for treating smaller skin abrasions, but things get more difficult when it comes to soft-tissue injuries such as on the tongue or on sensitive surfaces like... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: Using digital data can improve health outcomes (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Electronic Health Records May Be Key to Improving Patient Care, Study Finds

When a patient gets transferred from a hospital to a nearby specialist or rehabilitation facility, it is often difficult for personnel at the new facility to access the patient’s electronic health records... Read more


view channel
Image: Differentiated stapling technology for bariatric surgery (Photo courtesy of Standard Bariatrics)

Teleflex Completes Acquisition of Bariatric Stapling Technology Innovator

Teleflex Incorporated (Wayne, PA, USA), a leading global provider of medical technologies, has completed the previously announced acquisition of Standard Bariatrics, Inc. (Cincinnati, OH, USA), which has... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2022 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.