How would you like to have a nearly microscopic nanorobot swimming through the blood vessels in your eyes? A new magnet-based nanorobotic system could do just that, and take the place of the some traditional forms of getting eye surgery. (Feeling squeamish yet?)
Made by members of the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, “OctoMag” is made mainly out of a field of tightly coiled, 5-DOF (five-degree-of-freedom) magnets. You simply stick your head in the middle of the magnetic contraption, and the surgeons will inject microbot into your nose. The massive coil magnets guides the tiny, half-millimeter long robot as it gets to work busting up blood clots in the small vessels of the eye.
Although this concept is a little…freaky, it does seem to be a better alternative to having lots of needles and drops put into one’s eye, plus a bit of digging about to get to the problem. It’s possibly much quicker too due to the precision of the magnets.
Microbots like this could also make their mark in the manufacturing industry by doing the intricate things that human hands or big work machines can’t. See this video for an example: