How often do children or animals accidentally swallow foreign objects that can only be retrieved with abdominal surgery?
Fortunately, this problem could soon be resolved because scientists from the University of Hong Kong have developed a soft magnetic slime robot that can enter the most inaccessible places and draw out the object.
The robot consists of neodymium magnet particles and polyvinyl alcohol, making it incredibly agile and remotely controlled. It can enter even the narrowest areas, less than 1.5 millimeters in diameter. The robot can also retrieve the smallest objects; doctors only have to use a magnet to pull out the robot and its captured object.
Unfortunately, the robot is not yet ready to be used because neodymium particles are toxic and can leak into the bloodstream and human organs. However, as soon as this technology becomes safe, this innovation will undoubtedly find its way into the toolboxes of surgeons worldwide.
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