You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

This Robot Is Like a Chauffeur for Slow Sperm This new method of fertilization is the latest discovery in a rapidly expanding field of microrobots being built for navigating the human body.

By Hilary Brueck

entrepreneur daily

This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine

American Chemical Society | Youtube
Spermbot, a tiny, corkscrew-like, metal helix.

Slow swimmers are one of the most common problems men have when a couple is trying to conceive.

Enter the spermbot. A tiny, corkscrew-like, metal helix just large enough to cover the tail-end of a sperm, it's like a taxi for the male gamete.

The nanobot works by quickly motoring the sperm to the egg, navigating its way via a magnetic field. After dropping off its passenger, the spermbot takes off again, leaving the attached sperm ready for fertilization. What a chauffeur.

This new method of fertilization, which was performed successfully in the lab at the Institute for Integrative Nanosciences in Germany, is the latest discovery in a rapidly expanding field of microrobots being built for navigating the human body. Earlier this month, researchers at Purdue University made another discovery that would allow armies of microbots to be deployed inside the body and navigate independently, also using magnetic fields.

But the spermbot isn't quite ready to "hit the streets" just yet. While researchers were able to successfully deliver slow sperm to their destinations via the coil, they have yet to fertilize an egg with it. And it could take years before the technique is ready for human trial.

Have a look at some of the Spermbots in action:

Meanwhile, as the researchers perfect their bot, the market for in-vitro treatments is rising. Forecast to grow more than 11 percent a year over the next four years, it's expected to be a $21.6 billion-dollar industry by 2020, says Allied Market Research.

And with current success rates for artificial insemination under 30 percent, any robots to help boost those numbers with would surely be appreciated.

Hilary Brueck has been a contributing writer to Fortune since 2015.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

This Dad Started a Side Hustle to Save for His Daughter's College Fund — Then It Earned $1 Million and Caught Apple's Attention

In 2015, Greg Kerr, now owner of Alchemy Merch, was working as musician when he noticed a lucrative opportunity.

Growing a Business

Bantam Bagels' Founder Fell Into a Mindset Trap 'People Don't Talk About' After Selling the Now-Defunct Business for $34 Million — Here's What Happened

Elyse Oleksak and her husband Nick founded their mini bagel business in 2013 — and it was an instant hit.

Business News

I Designed My Dream Home For Free With an AI Architect — Here's How It Works

The AI architect, Vitruvius, created three designs in minutes, complete with floor plans and pictures of the inside and outside of the house.

Money & Finance

Setting Your Business Up for Success Through the Rest of 2024

CFO's mid-year update: Understanding the latest trends and regulations impacting business finance.

Business News

Yes, You Can Buy a Foldable Tiny Home on Amazon — And Now It's Selling for Less Than $12,000

The waterproof and flameproof house was listed around $35,000 a few months ago.

Thought Leaders

We Live in a Data-Driven World — Here's a Case For Listening to Your Gut Instead

Honing and trusting one's intuition can lead to quicker, more effective decision-making. Here's how to harness the power of listening to your gut to make the best choices.