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How Robots Could Fight Cancer And Travel Into Space

How Robots Could Fight Cancer And Travel Into Space

In the Terminator movie series, robots battle mankind for world domination.

In the real world, they could help battle diseases and take humans further into space.

Dr. Satwant Kaur, First Lady of Emerging Technologies and author of Transitioning Embedded Systems To Intelligent Environments: A Journey Through Evolving Technologies, recently told Benzinga how robots will help mankind overcome some of its greatest obstacles.

"Today's problem is not that cancer is untreatable, but that all treatments to cancer kill the human being as well," said Dr. Kaur.

By using microscopic robots, doctors could theoretically target cancer cells without causing additional problems for the patient.

"That's happening in a very mature stage now," Dr. Kaur added. "We call them nanorobots or nanobots, which can actually be taken inside. They can be programmed to attend to the dead tissue inside [the body]."

Related: IBM Creates Nanotechnology to Battle Fungal Infections

Dr. Kaur said that one of the key challenges currently facing nanorobots is figuring out how they can be sent through the human body to defeat the cancer cells. She is confident that this challenge will be overcome, but she is not sure when.

"They will go into human bodies, and at a molecular level treat cancers for us," she said.

Overcoming Failure

On November 26, SpaceX delayed the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket after encountering a technical glitch.

The company re-scheduled the launch for Thanksgiving Day (November 28), but that mission was also aborted.

SpaceX finally succeeded in launching the Falcon 9 on December 3.

While it's nice to see that SpaceX didn't give up, these launch failures (and subsequent delays) illustrate the key problem of going into space.

"We have had, in America and the rest of the world…many failed attempts to space travel," said Dr. Kaur. "One of the big things [in technology] that was not available [before] that will make a difference -- as far as space travel is concerned -- is the ability to adapt. Our ability to have processes that can learn, mimic, adapt and respond to unforeseen circumstances based on continuous learning of their surroundings. We call it artificial intelligence."

Related: Is Elon Musk's SpaceX Protected Without Patents?

Dr. Kaur said that she thinks the "big technology" that will make a difference to space travelers is being able to build robots and machines that are continuously learning and adapting. Software-controlled robots could be used to respond to any problems that materialized while traveling through space.

"What is needed is innovation," she said. "We are only limited by what we can dream. If we can dream something, we can make it happen. So the technologies are there. How we put it together is what has to be done today. The nanorobots are already functioning at a certain level."

Dr. Kaur hopes that these things -- nanorobots and improved space travel -- will be fully realized in her lifetime. She said that she wants to see the day when robots can go deeper into space and discover new inhabitable planets. She also wants to know that if she becomes sick, there will be nanorobots that are capable of curing her illness.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.


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