This device, called HeartLander, can be inserted using minimally invasive keyhole surgery. Once in place, it will attach itself to the heart and begin inching its way across the outside of the organ, injecting drugs or attaching medical devices. In tests on live pigs, the HeartLander has fitted pacemaker leads and injected dye into the heart.
The 20-millimetre-long robot has two suckers for feet, each pierced with 20 holes connected to a vacuum line, which hold it onto the outside of the heart. By moving its two body segments back and forth relative to one another it can crawl across the heart at up to 18 centimetres per minute. This back-and-forth movement is generated by pushing and pulling wires that run back to motors outside the patient's body. The robot is being developed by Cameron Riviere and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Full article at New Scientist.