Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Youth Pastor Watch | In Other Tick, Tick, Ticks »

Friday, March 28, 2008

A.I.: Asshole Intelligence

posted by on March 28 at 10:13 AM

In the future, robots will be crawling up your ass. Seriously.

As if the idea of colonoscopies didn’t sound uncomfortable enough, now researchers are developing self-propelling probes that crawl inside the colon and grip its sides with the aid of sticky films.

Still, these slithery devices could lead to better, safer, more comfortable colonoscopies to help uncover cancerous polyps.

RSS icon Comments


I have to have a colonoscopy soon and am dreading it. I'd much rather have teeny robots running around inside of me that a long tube.

Posted by Johnny | March 28, 2008 10:22 AM

This may threaten the job security of Richard Gere's gerbil.

Posted by Hernandez | March 28, 2008 10:28 AM

they can call it the "hagfish"

Posted by Westside forever | March 28, 2008 10:29 AM

Time for another remake of I Am Legend.

Posted by keshmeshi | March 28, 2008 10:41 AM

I'm with Johnny. "Sticky films" sound a lot better than "man jamming fifty feet of tube up my ass".

Posted by Fnarf | March 28, 2008 10:47 AM

@ #1

They aren't a big deal. I actually had my first colonoscopy this morning. I strongly recommend "twighlight anesthesia" - you don't feel or remember a thing (Kinda like an IV "roofie").

But please don't put it off. In my line of work, I've talked to quite a few YOUNG people who ended up with colostomy bags, because they didn't get things checked out soon enough.

Good luck!

Posted by No Big Deal | March 28, 2008 10:54 AM

crawl inside the colon and grip its sides with the aid of sticky films

Oh sure - that sounds comfortable. (Doc, can I have another Vicodin, please? kthx!)

Posted by Tlazolteotl | March 28, 2008 10:58 AM

I would be worried that the robot would get lost and not find it's way out.

Posted by Mike of Renton | March 28, 2008 11:01 AM

It shouldn't have any trouble finding its way out. It might not come out the right end, but there are only two directions.

Posted by Mike | March 28, 2008 11:04 AM


One would think the adhesive film would break down over time, and the lil' fella would eventually pass out through the normal means of egress from the colon.

I can't wait for the day when the OED adds the term "roboshit" to the English language

Posted by COMTE | March 28, 2008 11:06 AM

Gotta agree with #6.

The worst part of my colonoscopy was the nasty salty laxative you have to take as prep, and the entire night of painfull cramps and shooting liquid out my ass that it caused. I don't even remember anything from the proceedure itsself, just a big blank from them injecting something into the IV and me getting woken up in the recovery room an hour later.

Posted by John | March 28, 2008 11:08 AM

Roboshit, huh? Is anyone else thinking Terminator 5?

Posted by Mike | March 28, 2008 11:08 AM

Oh my god! They've invented gay robots! Someone call Focus on the family!

Posted by Collin | March 28, 2008 11:15 AM

Nice to see our government finally putting its top-secret space alien technology to work.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | March 28, 2008 11:16 AM

This is not news. NASA sent a probe to Uranus over 20 years ago.

Posted by Heather | March 28, 2008 11:20 AM


Posted by michael strangeways | March 28, 2008 11:25 AM

Will they be equipped with anti-pin worm phasers?

Posted by Mike in MO | March 28, 2008 11:34 AM

I think Johnny wins. I just hope they don't run on a Microsoft OS ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 28, 2008 11:40 AM

Hey 1 and 6, Happy Post-Colonoscopy to you!
I'm involved with patient care around these procedures, and you're right on about the nasty, colon-blowing prep. That really is the worst part - during the procedure, the patient usually gets via IV a narcotic, along with a drug in the same family as valium. That cocktail keeps you loopy and comfortable throughout the procedure.
If there was any more immediate need of improvement (rather than scopes vs robots), I'd say it would be great to have a better prep medication than the big jug of stuff you have to drink beforehand. IMO that's the hardest part of having one of these done.

Posted by Madashell | March 28, 2008 12:50 PM

Oops, I meant 6 & 11. But 1, really, just get through the prep and you should be OK.

Posted by Madashell | March 28, 2008 12:52 PM

If you're going to give away the whole plot of the new Pixar flick, at least say add a spoiler alert at the top.

Posted by elenchos | March 28, 2008 1:36 PM

@15 gave me my first hearty laugh of the day, for the oldest pun in the book, used in precisely the perfect context.

Posted by Geni | March 28, 2008 4:50 PM

Thanks for the words of encouragement, everybody. Of course, I'm not going to put it off. I'm sure colon cancer would be a much bigger ordeal.

Posted by Johnny | March 29, 2008 5:10 AM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).