June 18, 2024

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A robot with claws watches over the brain – t3n – Digital Pioneers

A robot with claws watches over the brain – t3n – Digital Pioneers

This robot is built to land on the brain. (Screenshot: New World)

Science has advanced so far that microscopic robots can travel through our bloodstream without us even noticing. Now researchers have developed a robot with tentacles to monitor the brain.

It looks like a scene from a science fiction movie. Researchers have developed a robot that can be inserted through a small hole in the skull. Once there, six tentacle-like legs filled with sensors unfold on the surface of the brain. This is how you are supposed to measure electrical activity. that reports new world.

Compared to the traditional method, which required surgeons to cut a hole in the skull to place electrodes on the surface of the brain, this new approach offers a less invasive alternative. The innovative design has been tested on miniature pigs and in the future could help people suffering from epileptic seizures or other neurological disorders.

The soft robot is about an inch long, its legs are mainly made of flexible silicone polymer, and resemble curved flower petals that rotate around the central body. When the legs are fully extended, they cover a circle with a radius of four centimeters. Each leg contains electrodes to monitor brain activity.

Placing the robot on the surface of the brain is challenging because there is almost no gap between the brain and the skull. However, researchers have built in mechanisms to prevent excessive stress on the brain.

Stress sensors on each leg provide information on when it is fully extended, allowing for precise placement without additional cameras or external sensors.

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The advantages of this new approach lie in its scalability. Future prototypes could have longer legs, eight or ten centimeters long, without having to enlarge the hole in the skull.

This innovative approach could revolutionize the traditional way of monitoring and treating brain diseases and offer patients a promising alternative.