Robot pill could replace uncomfortable probes

Robot pills are on the way - Newsreel
Stomach probes could soon be as simple as swallowing a robotic pill. | Photo: DMP (iStock)

A robot pill has been developed that the inventors believe will reduce the need for many invasive medical procedures.

California-based Endiatx is conducting clinical trials on Pillbot, which is describes as “a miniature robot designed to navigate the human stomach, providing unprecedented access for gastrointestinal diagnosis and treatment”.

The company says the product is the beginning of a “new realm” of micro-robotics in the human body.

According to the company’s website, the robot pill communicates with the operators in real time, providing a live feed of the patient’s stomach.

“Because the stomach is dark, we need to illuminate it to see it better. The LEDs are used to light up the stomach (and) give us the clearest vision possible,” Endiatx said.

“The lithium battery is used to power the PillBot and allows it to operate for 30 minutes straight. With the groundbreaking three pumpjet motors, PillBot is able to move around the stomach with ease and precision.”

The 30mm by 13mm product is currently in clinical trials as part of the process to receive Food and Drug Administration approval in the US.

As well as avoiding some of the more uncomfortable aspects of internal body probes, the company says the technology will allow patients to consult medical specialists around the world remotely.

More details are on the Endiatx website.