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Robots in your blood vessels? THIS is what comes to a doctor near you

Scientists have been experimenting with soft robots that could be useful in the future to explore human ships.

Robots and machines have now become an integral part of almost every human endeavor and now they are about to enter the human body, especially blood vessels. Now, after taking inspiration from plants and fungi, scientists have devised a method that allows soft robots to navigate the tricky paths in the body. “We were really inspired by how plants and fungi grow. We took the idea that plants and fungi add material to the end of their bodies, either at their root tips or their new shoots, and we translated that into an engineering system.” Matthew Hausladen, one of the authors of the paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America and a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota.

This team of researchers from the University of Minnesota invented soft robots that can travel through difficult terrain by growing in length, steering them around corners and other curves. Scientists have tested these soft robots by squeezing a long rope of resin to push it in its path.

But what exactly is a soft robot? Scientists explained that soft robots have flexible bodies, which can be controlled by manipulating materials to make them crawl on their journey. These types of robots are expected to navigate through difficult, unapproachable environments, such as inside a human body.

Scientists have used E-SLIP, a growing soft robot capable of extending many times its original body size, excavating in simulated soil, passively avoiding obstacles and traversing winding paths. Each of these soft robots emits a long string of material that molds to their surroundings as they push the devices along, much like a fungus, which can move through the soil and grow along the roots of a tree.

“Our approach offers the potential of a new materials handling and growing robotic platform for on-demand infrastructure, exploration and detection in a variety of confined, remote or difficult-to-access environments,” the researchers indicated.

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