August 11


[Video] Brain-Sucking Robots Could Save Your Life!

By Staff Writer

August 11, 2013

blood clots, robots

Blood-sucking robots – sort of sounds like a science fiction movie doesn’t it?

Well, the robots are real, and a team from Vanderbilt University is currently working on the development and use of them to remove blood clots from the brain.

Intracerebral hemorrhaging is internal bleeding in the brain that is caused by a rupture in one of the blood vessels in the head. There are many causes of this type of bleeding, but regardless of the cause it is considered a life-threatening condition.

The odds of having a hemorrhage of this type are pretty high: 1:50 over a person’s life.

Surgery can be a risky way to remove the clots, as many times healthy brain tissue can be damaged on the way to the site of the clot.

This type of blood clot is fatal about 40% of the time. That’s why this technology is so exciting!

In this video, Robert Webster, a mechanical engineer, and Kyle Weaver, a neurosurgeon, present their new image-guided surgical system.

This system uses maneuverable, small needles to negotiate the brain with little to no damage to the healthy tissue on the way to the clot. In feasibility studies the robot was able to take out up to 92% of simulated blood clots.

They plan to add ultrasound imaging along with computer models to improve the odds of removing the entire clot.

If you want to find out more about this robot, go to

For those of you that are curious about possible symptoms of brain bleeding, they could include (list located at WebMD – but as they remind us, these symptoms are shared with many other conditions):

  • A sudden severe headache
  • Seizures with no previous history of seizures
  • Weakness in an arm or leg
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Decreased alertness; lethargy
  • Changes in vision
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty writing or reading
  • Loss of fine motor skills, such as hand tremors
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of balance
  • An abnormal sense of taste
  • Loss of consciousness

If you have a child that is interested in robotics, there is no time like the present to increase their interest! Robotics: Discover the Science and Technology of the Future is a fun and educational introduction to the exciting field of designing, building, and operating robots – you just might want to make a few of these projects with her/him!

About the author

Our staff writers come from various backgrounds in the neuroscience, personal development, brain science and psychology fields. Many started out as with us as contributors!

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