Last week we wrote about a new concept for the Muadib, a “cruise ship” that’s made to cruise on top of desert sands. Today we have another one of Imaginactive’s newly announced concepts. I think this one might give some of you the shudders.

It’s called the Snefel. It’s a “medical vehicle.” It’s super mini. Super mini, as in…designed to sail through the human blood vessel system. I think most of you are thinking right now, “No thanks!”? The idea of robotic nanotechnology has been floated around for a while. But the idea of a tiny robot cruising through my blood vessels is totally unappealing. Let’s look at this more.

If someone has a Snefel inserted into their body, here’s how they would work. The Snefel wouldn’t just cruise around unaided for the rest of the patient’s life. It would be inserted, a doctor would guide it around, and then it would be removed. If it would be removed after a quick artery tour I might be OK with that. The Snefel would have unique proteins on it that matched those of its human host. These proteins, which make it look like a red blood cell, would mean that the body would not attack it.

The robot would be about the size of a white blood cell, which puts it in the range of 12 to 15 micrometers (µm). 15 micrometers i 0.000590551 of an inch. In comparison, a human hair is greater than 17 micrometers but usually smaller than 180 micrometers. Yes, the Snefel is small…and one primary reason is that they would be extra dangerous if they were used and got stuck in a blood vessel or somehow blocked one.

There are a three different functionalities of these Snefels. The functionality of the Biop model is that of a VR camera. The camera would transmit images to the doctor to be able to see where problem spots are or to be guided during certain procedures. Examples of where this micro-view would come in handy are delivering the embryo at the proper place during artificial insemination. Some surgeries would also be safer and done faster, if the surgeon had an “inside view” so to speak.

The functionality of the Skout model is that of a delivery robot. this one would contain a tiny dose of medicine that it would deliver right to its target when it was in the proper position. The Skout could hyper-target the exact spot, like a tumor or blood clot, that needs medicine, rather than giving it to the whole body. The Skout woould have a tail that would propel it similar to that of a tiny tadpole.

Finally, the functionality of the Subu model is that of construction worker. It would be used to repair blood vessels, dig through clots, collect blood samples, and study them to transmit information. The concept explains that the Subu would be perfect for hemophiliacs, diabeticss, or people at high risk for blood clots.

The Subu, unlike the others, would actually remain in the body. It would cruise around, on patrol, and when a problem is detected, it would either be able to fix it or call for help. How it would call for help isn’t explained. Maybe it was one of those “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” necklaces? I kid. But, it would somehow summon either other robots that were already in the body to start the repair work or it would sound an alarm on the outside somehow.

Snefel Biop nano robot for the blood stream Snefel Skout nano robot for the blood stream Snefel Subu nano robot for the blood stream