An origami robot you can eat. Kind of obvious, when you come to think of it, right? Not!

Last week researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology unveiled a robot that can be swallowed to patch wounds, deliver medicine, or remove foreign objects inside your stomach.

The robot is frozen into an ice capsule. When you swallow the capsule the ice melts and the robot unfolds itself. It can then be steered by external magnetic fields.

The video above is a demonstration of how it will work. Daniela Rus, Director at MIT CSAIL, says, “The challenge with designing an ingestible robot is finding biocompatible materials that are easy to be controlled and amenable to the types of operations that are needed from the robot.”

After trying different materials, the researchers settled on dried pig intestine, the kind that is used in sausage casings.

She adds that they want to add sensors to the robot and redesign it so it's “able to control itself without the need of an external magnetic field”.

This robot is the successor to one that was developed last year by the same team, seen in the video below.