Researchers have used the new nanofabrication methods to develop bug-shaped micro robots that can walk, stay in rough climate, wirelessly powered, and small in size to be injected via a standard hypodermic needle.
Marc Miskin came up with nanofabrication methods with his colleagues Paul McEuen, Alejandro Cortese, and Itai Cohen. He says that when he was a child, he remembers looking in a microscope and observing everything that was going on. Now they are developing things that are active at Nano size.
Marc will introduce his research work this week at American physical Society March meeting held in Boston. He will be a part of a press conference explaining his work.
Micro Robots Origin
Over the span of the several years, Marc & his team created a multistage nanofabrication method that converts a four inch specialized silicon wafer into several microscopic robots in a matter of weeks’ time. Every seventy micron long, bodies of the robots are developed from an extremely thin rectangular skeleton of glass covered with a thin layer of silicon into which researchers engrave its electronics control elements. Either two or four silicon solar cells, which is primary equivalent of organs & a brain.
The extremely high-level discussion of the way they develop them is they are taking technology created by the semiconductor market & using it to develop small robots.
Creation of the Legs of the Robot
Four legs of the robots are developed with the help of a bilayer of titanium & platinum. Platinum is put via atomic layer deposition. It feels like painting with atoms. Titanium-platinum layer is later divided into robot’s four hundred-atom-thick legs.
Marc said that legs of the robot are extremely robust. Every single robot carries a body which is thousand times fatter and weighs over eight thousand times more than every single leg.
The team flash a laser on a robot’s solar cells to boost it. This results in the expansion of the platinum in the leg. But the titanium in the body stays hard which causes the limb to bend. Gait of the robot is produced because every single cell of the solar leads to alternate relaxation or contraction of the back or front legs.
Marc said that a few days before 2017’s Christmas, the team witnessed a movement in a robot’s leg. It just moved a bit. However, it was the first proof that the idea would work.