Robotic Caterpillar Can Help Heart Patients

Not that many legs on this little mechanical medical marvel, but it’s called a “robotic caterpillar” anyway. It’s a creation of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon, and its primary task is to crawl across the human heart to help perform bypasses and procedures that would otherwise require stopping the organ, if only temporarily. That should be welcome news to heart surgeons, especially because it means less time for their patients in recovery.

The rather small yet highly significant HeartLander is about 3 centimeters in length and moves at a nowhere near blistering pace, yet does things that human hands can only dream of doing.

The scientists at Carnegie Mellon say they’re just a few years away from having the HeartLander on hand for a lot more surgeries.


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