Scientists and engineers have been working on expanding efficiency of robots from more than a decade. Now they have reached a point where they can move tiny robots inside a living body. These robots, one day, will be able to deliver drugs and stay in the body working in tandem with the immune system. Moreover, initiatives were distinctively visible when researchers from the U.S. and China developed a method to control swarming microrobots.
Different Configurations of Robots Encourage Feasible Movement inside the Body
Until today, tiny robots that functioned in swarms only formed a single shape that limited their usefulness. However, this concept changed when researchers from China reported that their tiny robots formed different swarm shapes. They could create liquid, chain, ribbon, and vortex shapes of the swarms of tiny robots. It is important to understand that the formation of a shape is a controlled effort.
In this experiment, researchers’ suspended robots in a liquid and manipulated using a specialized magnet, as robots were the size of a single grain of hematite. Now researchers were able to control the direction of the magnetic field and manage its frequency. With this, they were able to roll, spin, tumble, and oscillate each robot independently. As and when they controlled magnetic field for a group of the robots, it resulted in a controllable swarm.
Another significant aspect of this study is that robots can shape themselves in different configurations. This resulted in a feasible movement of robots from one body part to another. For example, to move through a channel would require shapes like a worm, snake or chain. Vortex shape will help in easy cargo movement inside the body.