Scientists develop tiny cancer droid

In collaboration with the Press Association

Using technology reminiscent of the film Inner Space, Japanese scientists have developed a robot capable of journeying through the body to carry out cancer surgery.

The one-inch prototype has its own camera and lights so that it can be remote controlled by surgeons.

While many years from general surgical use, it could one day help reduce the need for major surgery when treating hard-to-reach cancers. Previous robotic devices, delivered via a small incision before moving to where they are needed, have been limited to taking pictures.

The latest model can be fitted with a range of tools, from tissue-samplers and drug delivery systems to microwaves able to treat tumours.

The robot weighs just five grams, is 0.79 inches long and half that in diameter.