Engineers Develop Low-Cost, High-Precision GPS-Like System for Flexible Medical Robots

Engineers from the University of California at San Diego have developed an affordable and easy-to-use system for tracking the location of flexible surgical robots within the human body. A study of scientists published on the website of the journal IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.

Researchers have embedded a magnet in the tip of a flexible robot that can be used inside the human body, for example, in the arterial channels of the brain. The system works similarly to existing tools that allow you to track implanted chips in the human body, but it does not have a negative effect on the body.

“We worked with a robot, which is a device made of very thin nylon, which we invert and create pressure with the help of a fluid that makes the robot grow”.

Scientists from the University of California.

Since the robot is soft and moves in the process of growth, it has practically no effect on the environment, which makes it ideal for medical use.

System tracking micro robots

Researchers then used existing magnet localization methods, which are very similar to GPS, to develop a computer model that predicts the location of a robot. The system consists of four sensors that are equally spaced around the area in which the robot works to measure magnetic field strength. Based on how strong the field is, they can determine where the tip of the robot is. The received data is processed by the neural network, establishing the exact location of the device.

Scientists note that the entire system, including installing a robot, magnets and magnet localization, costs about $100.