Smaller than the diameter of the hair! New breakthroughs have been made in the field of micro-and nano-robots
Not long ago, an international team, including Chinese scientists, developed a "miniature paper crane" smaller than the diameter of the hair, which can be automatically folded from the plane in less than a second under the action of voltage. As a new type of micro-driver with a size of only dozens of microns, this imaginative paper crane is another breakthrough in the field of micro-and nano-robot research and development.
At present, there is no unified and strict definition of the size of micro-and nano-robots in the world. Researchers usually refer to robots with body sizes between 1 mm and 1 cm as millimeter robots, between 1 micron and 1 mm as micron robots, and between 1 nm and 1 micron as nanobots. The latter two are collectively called micro-nanobots.
Because the size of micro / nano robot is too small, it mainly faces three challenges in the process of development: energy, drive and control. To solve these problems, scientists have carried out research on micro-nano-robots, including magnetic drive, light-driven, thermal-driven, chemically driven micro-nano-robot and microbial robot and so on.
Micro-and nano-robots are mainly made of micro-nano materials, while microbial robots use microbial bacteria, algae cells or white blood cells as micron robots, combined with their own motion characteristics and external stimuli to control their movement.
Thanks to the ultra-small size, micro-and nano-robots can move and perform operations in a micro environment that can not be reached by traditional equipment. For example, it enters the natural lumen or blood vessels of an organism for detection and drug delivery, and even enters a single cell to measure the Young's modulus of the nucleus. Micro-and nano-robots can also "fight together", and scientists can control their groups to change their configuration through narrow pipes to reach the targeted position to release drugs.
In the future, if micro-and nano-robots can achieve the complexity and function similar to that of molecular machines in biological cells, they are expected to help human beings edit DNA molecules, treat diseases at the molecular level, construct material structures from micro to macro, and even develop new bioenergy.
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