Smart marbles

As a prelude to this year's virtual Dutch Design Week, TU/e professor Peter Baltus discusses the amazing potential of a swarm of tiny marbles that can inspect numerous possible environments.

A swarm of marbles that flows through your intestines order to detect thickening. It sounds like science fiction, but it’s closer to reality than you might think. TU’s engineer Peter Baltus has developed sensors that are able to inspect hard-to-reach or even inaccessible environments. His primary focus is on large-scale pipeline networks such as drinking water systems, oil pipelines or transport systems for kerosene. But his dream is that these small balls will one day explore the inside of volcanos, or maybe even the human digestive tract.

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