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UK Scientists Developing Microbots To Explore Blood Vessels

I’ve read enough dystopian future fiction to be a little intimidated by the idea of robots that can swim through your bloodstream. As long as we’re really, really careful and make sure a faceless megacorporation doesn’t use these robots to control people from within, then scientists can go ahead and keep making them.

A research team in the UK is currently developing a line of flea-sized robots shaped like human sperm. With a tiny magnetic head and a wiggly elastic tail, these little faux-swimmers could theoretically move freely throughout a human’s blood vessels, guided forward by an outside electromagnetic force. One of the team’s heads, Theodore Ogrin, theorizes that the robots could serve as a cheap distribution system for medicine throughout the body.

Other scientists have entertained the idea before, but Ogrin believes the team may have struck upon the perfect balance of functionality and affordability. The team has already successfully confirmed the robots’ ability to swim through dense liquids, and are now attempting to see if the robots can be made small enough to swim through an adult aorta.