telerobots to explore the inside of the body

Today there is an area of ​​technology called telepresence or telerobotics. Often overlooked, it will become an important part of the metaverse. It will also play a vital role in the medical sector.

Virtual reality takes users to simulated worlds. As far as telepresence or telerobotics is concerned, it uses remote robots. It takes users to remote locations, enabling them to look inward and complete complex tasks. This concept goes back to 1940s science fiction. “Fantastic Journey” (1966)we can imagine tiny robotic vessels penetrating the inside of the body.

These robotic ships work under the supervision of doctors who diagnose patients from the inside. These specialists can even perform surgical tasks. This may sound like pure fantasy. But EndiatxHayward California, a startup led by Torrey Smith, recently launched a small robot inside the human digestive tract.

The first prototypes of telerobots

First experiences with telerobotic system immersive ones are not new. Indeed, in 1991 NASA had some of the first prototypes mobile telerobotic system. This allowed the mobile robot to be controlled by a camera system that returned stereoscopic images in real time.

Given its size, the idea of ​​shrinking such a system to the point where it could be swallowed and then remotely controlled was beyond thought. The goal was only to allow human operators work in dangerous placesfor example from clean up nuclear accidents or repair satellites.

Torrey Smith experiments with an unmanned robot

The Endiatx team, founded in 2019, has already created a tiny drone robot. The latter may be swallowed by human patients and remotely piloted in the stomach and other parts of the digestive tract. Their prototype system, known as Pillbot™, is essentially a small, remote-controlled subwoofer the size of a multivitamin. It sends real-time video back to the doctor’s computer or phone. The team conducted tests on corpses and living people.

Torrey Smith said he was inspired fantasy film Inner Space (1987) and what he has thought about the concept since then. A few years ago, he finally took the plunge by founding Endiatx. His company is ready to implement this capability in healthcare as a transport product. Torrey himself was the first person on the planet who experience a robotic drone flying in his stomach. He volunteered, swallowing the first prototype, which made a real “fantastic journey”.

Medicine and telerobotics

Since this initial testothers in the company swallowed working prototypes Many times. The team is currently conducting tests at the Mayo Clinic and planning trials for FDA approval. If all goes well, the pill might diagnose patients worldwide by 2024.

This can be a huge benefit, especially for stomach sufferers. Instead of having standard endoscopy procedurewhich usually requires sedation and includes several visits, Swallowable little robot could save time and money. In addition, it would give doctors a quick and easy way to look inside a patient’s body. Finally, this would provide more flexible control than traditional endoscope.

Faster, cheaper and more accurate forecasts

Doctors can now fly a tiny drone with standard Xbox game controller. But the company plans to enable management with touch screen of any mobile phone.

Indeed, their vision consists of a disposable device delivered to your home and swallowed during a telemedicine consultation. Dr. Pview live camera video from your PC or phone.

Telerobotics and medicine

Endiatx estimates that robotic tablets can be made for $25 each. sells for hundreds of dollars per unit. This will save several thousand dollars in medical expenses. But more importantly, the company believes that the pill will save many lives by enabling faster and cheaper screening.

The company plans to start first clinical trials later this year. Shortly thereafter, the clinic version will be rolled out, followed by the home version. Their immediate goal is allow the device to take tissue samples and perform other surgical tasks. In the long run, their plan is toshrink their robotic drone to the size of a grain of rice. This initiative will open up possibilities beyond the digestive tract. And their goal is to provide all these opportunities for home use, and doctors will control the bots using telemedicine.