In Brief

Origami robot is capable of extracting objects or patching up small wounds

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a tiny ingestible robot capable of unfolding from a biodegradable capsule in order to remove foreign objects—such as button batteries—from the stomach.

In collaboration with researchers at the University of Sheffield in the U.K. and the Tokyo Institute of Technology, MIT conducted experiments involving simulations of the human esophagus and stomach that showed the robot was capable of being steered by external magnetic fields to crawl across the stomach wall and remove small objects or patch wounds.

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