In experiments involving a simulation of the human esophagus and stomach, researchers at MIT, the University of Sheffield, and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have demonstrated a tiny origami robot that can unfold itself from a swallowed capsule and, steered by external magnetic fields, crawl across the stomach wall to remove a swallowed button battery or patch a wound.
MIT News reports that around 3,500 coin cell batteries are swallowed each year just in the United States – or ~10 per day. I had no idea this predicament was that prevalent, and dire, if the battery accidentally burns its way into your stomach lining and becomes lodged there.
GIF via Engadget, showing the ‘microsurgeon’ removing an embedded coin cell battery from stomach lining.
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