London: Scientists are developing tiny robots that could swim in your bloodstream and help you heal.
Acting as mini technicians, they could one day assemble medical devices inside the body.
Eric Diller and Metin Sitti of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have created a simple version of micro-robotsusing rods made of magnetic materials.
Each robot is about 1 millimetre long and has two gripping arms. A magnetic field is used to move the robots and operate the grippers, New Scientist reported.
Previous gripping bots had to be tethered to an outside controller, making them unsuitable for use inside the human body. Other versions could not move and grip things at the same time.
So far, the robots have transported small objects and built bridges out of Y-shaped rods. Sitti hopes future versions could be injected into the body along with parts for micro-machines that would swim in the blood and help wounds clot. The builder bot could then create the more advanced device while inside the bloodstream.
The research is published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.