Origami Robot Heralds New Possibilities and Concerns For Ingestible Medicine

MIT-Microsurgeon-1_0By Jason Erickson

Ingestible medicine continues to be a controversial, but quickly arriving technology. In this video you will see a product of researchers at MIT, the University of Sheffield, and the Tokyo Institute of Technology – 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. As Daniela Rus, Director at MIT CSAIL states, if all goes according to plan, the robot will one day be able to break away from external control and become autonomous.

The use of robotic technology has raised concerns about the introduction of foreign organisms into natural systems, most particularly the use of DNA nanobots, which already are well on the way toward human trials. Futurist and a director of engineering at Google, Ray Kurzweil, has dubbed the robotic engineering of the human body as “Human Body 2.0.” As part of this project, he states:

In the coming decades, a radical upgrading of our body’s physical and mental systems, already underway, will use nanobots to augment and ultimately replace our organs. We already know how to prevent most degenerative disease through nutrition and supplementation; this will be a bridge to the emerging biotechnology revolution, which in turn will be a bridge to the nanotechnology revolution. By 2030, reverse-engineering of the human brain will have been completed and nonbiological intelligence will merge with our biological brains. [source]

How concerned are you about the use of microchip implants, robots, and nanotech in the future of “smart” medicine? Please leave your comments below.

(Learn more about the robot from the video above: http://mitsha.re/zeUF300969v)

Also Read: What Will It Take to Get You to Swallow GMO and Nanotech Foods?

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