MIT Research Group Invents A Digestible Robot

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A  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) research group has developed a biodegradable robot to carry out minor stomach surgeries and remove unwanted objects from the stomach according to

The robot is folded up and swallowed the same way as a pill and when it is finished mending the stomach will decompose inside of the body. “The robot can remove foreign objects, it can patch wounds, or it can deliver medicine at designated locations,” Daniela Rus, the leader of the research team stated in a video according to

The robots are mainly made of dried pig intestines and navigated using a small magnet folded up inside of the robot. When the robot is swallowed, it is covered in a layer of ice and as soon as the robot hits the stomach, the ice layer will melt due to the high temperatures of the stomach according to

Considering that approximately 3,500 american children and adults swallow button batteries every year, the research team decided to test the robot by using it to retrieve a button battery from a synthetic stomach. The test was successful according to

“We have designed and built an origami robot that gets up and goes. In other words the robot forms itself on the spot, accomplishes tasks, and then it disappears by degradation.” explained Rus in a video produced by MIT.