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This Robot Crawls Over Your Body and Scans Your Skin With a Microscope

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SkinBot inspects a wrist.

This palm-sized robot developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology can carry out a medical inspection of a patient when a doctor is unavailable.

Credit: Artem Dementyev/MIT Media Lab

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed a palm-sized bipedal robot designed to carry out a medical inspection of a patient when a doctor is unavailable.

The SkinBot is equipped with a camera microscope and sensors for detecting electrical signals from the skin, enabling the system to examine wounds or scan the skin for lesions. The robot also has suction-cup feet inspired by leeches and the suckers of cephalopods. The researchers found the suction cups were more versatile and less unpleasant for test subjects when compared with other methods for the robot to crawl over a human body.

The team thinks SkinBot eventually will be able to give injections or carry out minor surgical procedures, while several robots working together might even be able to arrange themselves around the heart to perform multi-electrode electrocardiograms.

From New Scientist
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