Never forget that robots are not only the four-legged kind SpotMini mechanisms that are able to open doors and perform various acrobatic stunts. Apart from these, engineers also have developed a process, which due to their small size can navigate within living organisms and to deliver medicine to remote places. Researchers from the Polytechnic school of Lausanne and ETH Zurich have created a robot-microbe that adapts to different types of liquids and can float even in the blood vessels.
Lead author of the project, Selman Sakar said that creating an external structure of the robot they are based on the principles of kirigami — the Japanese art of making shapes using paper and scissors. Due to its flexible design, the robot is able to navigate even in narrow blood vessels without any loss of speed.
Our robot has special composition and structure which allows it to adapt to the characteristics of the fluid through which it moves. For example, if he is faced with changes in the viscosity or concentration of dissolved particles, it changes its shape to maintain speed and maneuverability without losing control of the direction of movement.
Robot-a microbe made from nanocomposite filled with material with tightly bound polymer mesh — this is what gives it a special elasticity. Instead of having to equip it with fairly large sensors and a battery, researchers have adopted magnetic nanoparticles that respond to changes in electric fields. This gave them the opportunity to program robots for deformation.
In nature there are many microorganisms, which change their shape upon changes in environmental conditions. This principle has inspired us to develop micro-robots.
The researchers stressed that due to minimum required components, the production of such robots is very cheap. They intend to continually improve their design so they could move in as complex fluids.
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