Blood Vessel Swimming 'Proteus' Robots Could Soon Be Reality

 - Jan 21, 2009
References: dailymail
Do you believe it? A microscopic submarine like in the movie Fantastic Voyage is now set to become a reality. 

Scientists in Australia have designed one of the smallest motors which they say can swim through blood vessels, and can drive around inside the body. The device is said to measure a quarter of a millimeter wide. 

The scientists also believe it can be used to treat stroke patients, just like the sub in the 1966 film which starred Raquel Welch. 

The device is equipped with a camera to easily send important pictures to the surgeon. It can also remove body tissue for biopsies or deliver treatments to body parts needing to be cured. 

Scientists who designed the motor, which is less than the width of two hairs, named it Proteus after the miniaturized submarine in the Oscar-winning film.

So far, the motor has successfully swum through human blood in a laboratory, although scientists at Monash University in Melbourne still hope it will also power its way up to the brain’s narrow arteries. 

Strong enough to swim through the blood stream, the micro sub also controls piezoelectricity – the same type of energy used in gas lighters.

It does not have a propeller. Instead, it has a tail less than a millimeter long which swishes thousands of times a second to make it move.