Innovation of the week
A minuscule new robot prototype, “small enough to move around in a stomach or urinary system,” can walk, jump, roll, and swim—and could soon be deployed to deliver drugs within the body, said James Gorman in The New York Times. The tiny bot, developed by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany, measures just 1/7 of an inch and is made of elastomer rubber, which is embedded with small, magnetic particles. Using external magnetic fields, scientists can twist and turn the bot’s body into a wide variety of positions. The prototype has already shown that it can jump over obstacles and crawl through narrow tunnels, and can also move minute objects by rolling around them and depositing them elsewhere. Although the device has yet to be tested on humans, Metin Sitti, who leads the research team, says that step will take place soon.