Soon People Will Be Swallowing Tiny Ingestible Robots for Tummy Aches

Remember the “plop plop fizz fizz” commercials for Alka Seltzer back in the day? Many people won’t.

Well, just imagine what the commercials of the not-too-distant future are about to look like for MIT’s new ingestible tummy robots.

tummyrobot
(Robot at right in artificial silicon test stomach – AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The robots, made from pig gut, folded up, then frozen in an ice capsule, could be used to deliver drugs, heal wounds or even retrieve an expel small foreign objects accidentally swallowed by children. Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory call it an “origami robot” because it folds up like an accordion.

After its swallowed and the ice melts, the robot can be controlled from outside the body via magnets.

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