A new kind of stomach bug

Researchers at MIT have developed a tiny origami-inspired robot that can be ingested to deliver medication, retrieve foreign objects and even patch wounds inside the human body.

The biocompatible device is composed of dried pig intestines and encased in a capsule of ice for easy ingestion. The casing thaws when it reaches the stomach, allowing its malleable, accordion-like frame to unfold.

Although it is tempting to envisage the miniature robot hurtling through the alimentary canal piloted by Dennis Quaid, the instrument actually contains a magnet, which allows an external magnetic field to steer