A team from CU Boulder is out to change the way millions of Americans get their regular colonoscopy screenings—with the goal of making these notoriously uncomfortable procedures easier for doctors and patients alike.
The trick: It’s all about robots. Associate Professor Mark Rentschler and his colleagues in the Department of Mechanical Engineering have designed a prototype medical device they call Endoculus. About the size of a C battery, Endoculus moves using skid steering, much like a tank, allowing it to get a grip on slippery tissue.
Rentschler hopes that robots like it will one day crawl through the large intestines of human patients to seek out and biopsy worrying signs of disease—part of his self-professed goal of creating “the operating room of the future.”