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Does It Obey the Three Laws of Robotics?

A miniature crawling robot is set to be unveiled in Israel during the ILSI-Biomed Israel Conference, June 15–17. The robot is designed to travel within the body, possibly to treat lung cancer through performing medical procedures.

An interview with the head researcher can be found here (the presentation is partly in French). According to the release, the ViRob can navigate and crawl in different spaces within the human body, including blood vessels, the digestive tract, and the respiratory system. In addition, itâEUR(TM)s structure gives it the ability to move in tight spaces and curved passageways as well as the ability to pause within the body. These functions could be harnessed to perform minimally invasive medical procedures. ViRob could also assist in targeted drug delivery to lung tumors, as well as take samples from different areas within the body. Several of these microrobots could simultaneously treat a variety of metastases. Researchers also plan to install additional equipment on the robot, including cameras, miniature tongs, and other equipment. The ViRob prototype measures 1 mm in diameter and 14 mm long. It was developed by the Medical Robotics Laboratory at the Israel Institute of Technology. A basic prototype of the ViRob that can move as fast as 9 mm per second has been developed. The unit for business development at the Israel Institute of Technology is currently in the process of establishing a company for technology commercialization. All in all, it makes me want to rewatch Innerspace and reread Snow Crash.

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