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Intestinal Robots

Intestinal robots are artificial electromechanical systems – robots – that were designed for exploring the inner cavities and organs of the body, particularly the intestines and other parts of the digestive tract.  Built to replace or provide an alternative to colonoscopy, currently the only option for taking a look inside the human body (this is done by inserting a tube through a convenient orifice), intestinal robots have gained much attention from the medical community.  Due to the minute size of the circuitry that has to be used in intestinal robots, they are seen as a field for technological development and as an application of Moore’s Law. First-Generation Robots The first wave of intestinal robots was mostly designed to pass through the body passively.  The primary component of these robots was a miniaturized camera that took still images or video as it passed through the patient’s body.  An early example of this kind of robot was the camera that was integrated into a pill, which could then be swallowed (and consequently passed out) by the patient.

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