A Microrobotic Assembly Line

Robert McGrath's Blog

One of the mountains we have to climb in the early twenty first is microrobotics: tiny machines which can manipulate individual molecules in the wild. We all them “robots”, but they can’t be built the way we build human scale machines. So the game is how to use the physics generally associated with “chemistry” to create structures and control mechanisms that can do useful work on demand.

This fall researchers at Osaka report on some cool techniques for creating “In situ integrated microrobots” that move under the power of “artificial muscles”. [3]  The techniques are designed to build up different mechanisms that work in a fluid, potentially pushing things and directing flows.  The mechanisms are powered by chemical energy.  These bots are intended to be useful inside a body, e.g., for medical applications.

The technique is very general, and can generate a bunch of different bots, so they call it…

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