Ro­bot nav­i­gates live pig heart

The Prince George Citizen - - Science -

WASH­ING­TON — Sci­en­tists have cre­ated a small ro­botic de­vice that guides it­self safely through a beat­ing pig’s heart, demon­strat­ing what such tools might one day do in surgery.

And they bor­rowed some tricks from animals to do the job. To find its way to a specific point in the heart, the thin tube called a catheter gen­tly tapped its path along heart walls and to a valve, much like how cock­roaches skit­ter along walls and rats reach out with their whiskers.

Re­searchers said ex­pe­ri­enced doc­tors were a little faster thread­ing catheters into place. But the team say ro­botic de­vices might one day do routine steps in op­er­a­tions so doc­tors could fo­cus on more com­pli­cated tasks.

The study was pub­lished on Wed­nes­day in the jour­nal Sci­ence Robotics.

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