MIT’s Media Lab is always working on the future of robotics and its latest project is a small robot called the Skinbot. This robot is roughly the size of your plan and is designed to crawl over your body and keep tabs on your health. It adheres to your skin using suction-cup feet that are based on the abilities of leeches or cephalopods.
The design could be a sort of robotic pet, but the real use scenario MIT sees is medical applications. MIT researcher Artem Dementyev sees the robots as tiny doctors users could order on demand from a storage box in their home. These bots could be fitted with microscopes to look at the skin to find signs of cancer or skin issues.
The scientist figures the bots could perform many of these procedures while you sleep. This would allow the bots to record locations of concern and monitor them for changes over time. Metal rings in the suction cups could be used to pick up signals like heart rate and muscle activity.
Dementyev says that we are still at least half a decade away from any commercialization of the tech. The robot needs more exploratory and preliminary work says the researcher.
Currently, the robots require wires, they will need to be wireless to be of practical use. Researchers also need to make the robots autonomous so they can go about their work with no input from a human. Palm-size also seems too large to crawl on your body while you sleep, miniaturization would also help the usefulness of this type of robot.