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Robotic Pill, the Next Breakthrough in Digital Health

Robotic Pill, the Next Breakthrough in Digital Health

March 14, 2018

Robotics & High-Tech

TechRepublic – Dr. David Zarrouk, director of BGU’s Bio-Inspired and Medical Robotics Lab and a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is working on a robotic pill that moves through the intestines like a worm and can be remote-controlled by healthcare professionals.

“We’re developing a robotic pill that can be swallowed so that it can crawl inside the body and film inside the intestines,” says Dr. Zarrouk. The advantage of using this pill is that it can be maneuvered by the examining doctor. “It can film a specific desired area, and then it can take biopsies or make targeted drug deliveries,” adds Dr. Zarrouk. This means the robot can drop medicine in the specific area that the doctor wants.

“As of today, we haven’t been able to move a robot inside the intestine, and the only thing available on the market today is the camera pill, but the camera pill cannot be moved externally on demand,” he explains.

“Lots of groups around the world are working on solving this problem, but our solution is unique.” The mechanical design uses a single motor to produce wave-like motions. In addition, the robot is reliable and energy efficient, so it doesn’t take too much battery power to move inside the intestines.

So far, the experiments have been running smoothly. “We believe that this thing, if successful, will be able to run at about one centimeter a second, which means that the robot would be in and out of the body within six to 10 minutes,” says Dr. Zarrouk.

Read more on the TechRepublic website >>

This article is excerpted from a story by Jason Hiner, a fellow of AABGU’s 2018 Murray Fromson Journalism Fellowship.