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"We think with robot assist, we can do better than human hands," he said.
The views from the camera-carrying robots are better than the naked eye, Oleynikov said, because they send back color images that are magnified.
A robot capable of doing biopsies is in the works and another is being designed that can be inserted into a person's stomach via the esophagus.
The robots themselves currently cost about $200 each, Farritor said.
Initial plans call for each robot to be used once and then disposed of.
Eventually, Oleynikov said, the tiny robots may enable surgeons to work without ever placing their hands in patients' bodies.
"That's the goal," Oleynikov said. "It's getting easier and easier. We can do even more with these devices."