If the trend of miniaturization meets the needs of robots from production to life and from commerce to household, miniaturization is the extension of the development of miniaturization. The trend of miniaturization opens up a new micro-world. Robots will take the place of human beings and go deep into some inaccessible small scenes to further expand human functions. Based on this, 2019 has become the beginning of a new era of micro-robot development, and miniaturization has become a common choice for everyone.
Only in the first half of the past year, new research and achievements on micro-robots have emerged in endlessly. Strong R&D trend has brought the development of micro-robots to an explosion. It is worth looking forward to achieving large-scale commercial development in the future. So, what kind of micro-robots have emerged in the first half of 2019?
Flexible Micro Robot
Swiss and British researchers reported in the American Journal of Progress in Science on January 19 that they had developed a flexible micro-robot. "Like living microorganisms," the robot can "swim" in viscous or fast-flowing liquids and hopefully deliver drugs to the body's lesions in the future. It is reported that the robot is about 1 mm in length and will not cause rejection when swimming in liquid. At the same time, its speed, direction and controllability will not be affected when it passes through narrow blood vessels and other tortuous systems.
Magnetic Micro-swimming Robot
On March 22 this year, Chinese researchers developed a magnetic micro-swimming robot that can work in teams of thousands like ant colonies. It is understood that the results were published in the new issue of the American Journal of Science Robotics. The magnetic micro-swimming robot is peanut-shaped, 3 microns long and 2 microns in diameter, only about one-fortieth of the diameter of hair. A large number of these robots can be transformed into long chains under the control of rotating magnetic field and travel through narrow simulated capillaries, which is expected to provide solutions for highly targeted drug delivery and in vivo imaging in the future.
Magnetic driven folding robot
In April, two studies at the University of Toronto and MIT, using magnetic materials and three-dimensional printing, developed controllable micro robots that are only a few millimeters in size. These micro-robots use magnets as remote controllers and can be folded into numerous different shapes, enabling them to perform such operations as grabbing objects and crawling. Researchers say these robots could be used to transport drugs in the future.
Micro Flying Robot
In June this year, Robobee, a small flying robot built by Harvard University in August 2018, received a major update, cutting off power lines that were originally used to power it. Now, researchers have only installed a tiny solar panel on the small robot, allowing it to gain kinetic energy for flight. According to the researchers, Robobee's wings have also increased from two to four. In addition, they have made minor adjustments to actuators and transmission ratios to make the aircraft more efficient, while increasing lift.
Micro Ant Robot
In July, a research team from the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, developed a small robot inspired by ants, which has good mobility, can communicate with each other, assign roles and accomplish complex tasks together. It is reported that the robot, named Tribots, is folded and assembled from several thin pieces of material. Because of its unique shape, it is also known as a "tripod robot". These robots are very similar to ants. Although they are simple in design and weigh only 10 grams, each robot has a variety of motion modes and can move over a variety of terrain.
Intestinal micro-robot in vivo
In July, researchers at the California Institute of Technology published a study on photoacoustic computed tomography-guided in vivo intestinal micro-robots. Microrobots can deliver drugs to specific parts of the body and monitor and control them in vitro. Researchers say their original intention is to treat digestive tract tumors. The micro-robot is wrapped in a microcapsule, which can maintain stability in the stomach. Once released, the micro-robot can show effective propulsion in various biological fluids in the body.