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What inspired this mini surgical robot?

Answer: Origami.

by / August 26, 2020

Turns out origami has uses beyond paper folding. A research team from Sony and Harvard’s Wyss Institute have developed a small surgical robot inspired by the technique.

The bot is roughly the size of a tennis ball, but it only weighs about as much as a penny. It was made by layering the materials on top of one another and then laser-cutting them. The device starts out flat and pops up into shape, much like a pop-up book or birthday card. It uses three linear actuators to control its movements.

The robot was successfully used in a mock surgical procedure where it had to use a needle to inject therapeutics into a tiny vein at the back of an eyeball without causing any damage. Its developers believe it would be easier to use than many current surgical robots due to its size and easy setup. This would also allow it to be easily removed from a patient during a procedure should it be necessary.

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