This little bug is called the HeartLander, a tiny little caterpillar-esque robot developed by the Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute in Pittsburgh. Inserted via keyhole surgery, the HeartLander crawls across the surface of the heart to administer drugs or attach medical devices. Apparently this invention could revolutionalize the treatment of cardiac patients while making the rest of the world sick at the mere sight of it. More details and a picture of the robot itself right after the jump.


Dr Cameron Riviere, who developed the HeartLander along with his colleagues, has already tested the device on pigs' hearts, where it has injected dye and inserted Pacemaker leads. The 20mm device, which attaches itself to the heart via suckers and can move at 18cm per minute, is overseen via either X-ray video or a magnetic tracker, and is controlled using a joystick. Warning: The video is a bit yikkety-split for first thing. Oops—should I have said this earlier?

Creepy Crawly Robot that mends Broken Hearts[NewScientistTech]