A small robot that fits your vein

The world’s smallest robot might have been crawling through your veins for a while.

Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a small, remote-controlled robot that moves like a crab in response to heat. The robot is less than a millimeter wide, making it small enough to pass through a vein.

Ultimately, these types of robots can detect and solve clogged arteries, or even fight tumors with our own bodies, but we’re far from that. For example, the materials that make up the robot are not yet suitable for use in the body and are now running smoothly, while in the body they probably have to move primarily through the fluid.

And while this is the smallest robot in the world – right now – it’s still 10 times bigger than some of the vessels in our bodies. So if it has to be able to get everywhere, it has to be smaller. However, the current design is not usable. For example, this robot can actually help fix devices in places where we humans wouldn’t be able to go.

Read more: The world’s smallest remote-controlled robot doctor could one day crawl through your arteries

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