Roboticists have created an affordable and flexible surgical robot that can be tracked inside the body. Similar robots require the use of radiation and are much more expensive. This robot gives medical professionals a way to explore patients' bodies in a safer low impact way.
The robot uses a magnetic tip to navigate through fragile areas such as arterial passages in the brain. The system is similar to a GPS. Researchers report they can gauge the magnetic field strength to determine the location of the robot's tip through the four sensors. The entire system costs around $100, making this very accessible.
"They are inherently safer and more compliant than rigid tools. If we can track them more easily, that would be a great benefit both to patients and surgeons," says Tania Morimoto, a professor Jacobs School of Engineering.
Innovations like this low-cost tracking system can significantly push forward advanced medical robotic technology and make a wide range of procedures safer and more accessible.