A fantastic nanobot voyage by 2009?

Wired magazine has the story on an international team of scientists who are developing the world’s first microrobot that can swim through the arteries and digestive system.

While others have tried and failed to create microrobots for arterial travel, one scientist believes his team will succeed because they are the first to exploit piezoelectric materials — crystals that create an electric charge when mechanically stressed — in their micromotor design.

Funded by the Australian Research Council, the team is tweaking larger versions of the device, and expects to have a working prototype later this year and a completed version by 2009.

The scientists say stroke, embolism and vascular-disease patients should be the first to benefit from the new technology.

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