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The Microbots Are on Their Way


A microbot alongside a paramecium.

A researcher at the University of Pennsylvania has developed tiny robots.

Credit: Marc Miskin/University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University

Marc Miskin, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, has developed tiny robots, thousands of which can fit side by side on a single silicon wafer.

The microbots, which are each about 100 atoms thick, rely on a technique used to put layers of platinum and titanium on a silicon wafer.

When an electrical voltage is applied, the platinum contracts while the titanium remains rigid, and the flat surface bends. This bending action serves as the motor that moves the limbs of the robots.

The robots are powered by shining lasers on tiny solar panels on their backs.

From The New York Times
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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