‘Snake’ operating device showcased at cancer conference

A Bristol-based medical engineering company has demonstrated a ‘mechanical snake’ that will allow doctors to look and ‘feel’ inside patients bodies without having to carry out invasive surgery.

OC Robotics showcased its snake robot at the International Conference on Oncological Engineering at the University of Leeds this week. The device is still only a prototype and has only been used in laboratories so far, but the company is confident that, once ready and approved, it could help find and remove tumours in cancer patients with only a tiny incision needed.

Speaking at the conference, Safia Danovi, from Cancer Research UK, said that the devices on display at the conference would play important roles in the future fight against cancer.

“Surgery is a cornerstone treatment for cancer so new technologies making it even more precise and effective are crucial,” she explained. “Thanks to research, innovations such as keyhole surgery and robotics are transforming the treatment landscape for cancer patients and this trend needs to continue.”

OC Robotics’ Rob Buckingham said that a key area of research that they are now looking into for the ‘snake’ is making it work with other technology, such as sensors that can identify and hone in on target objects such as tumours.


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