Scientists reveal microscopic robots able to ‘walk’ by flashing lasers at them
Laser technology has been used by scientists to make microscopic robots effectively “walk”. Legs around the width of a human hair are able to bend when hit by a laser light, creating a walk-like motion. Cornell University-led researchers hope the development could one day be used to travel through human tissue and blood.
The experts were able to make one million four-legged robots on a 4in wafer of silicon, powered by silicon photovoltaics which rely on a low voltage. By targeting laser pulses at different parts each time, the robot is able to walk, the team behind the project explained in the Nature journal. However, these robots have some limitations, such as being slower than other swimming robots, not being able to sense their environments, and a lack of integrated control.
Professor Marc Miskin Lead author of the study
Controlling a tiny robot is maybe as close as you can come to shrinking yourself down. I think machines like these are going to take us into all kinds of amazing worlds that are too small to see.
If your business is striving to make advancements in science or technology, you could qualify for the R&D tax credit scheme, a Government incentive designed to support this type of work. It allows businesses to reclaim up to 33p for every £1 spent on eligible R&D activities. For help and advice on applying, speak to a member of our team today.
Start your R&D claim