Tiny, Ultrafast Electromechanical Robots

By Durgalakshmi.S

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A team of researchers has developed a high speed microbot that can function faster than cheetahs and can be used for non-invasive surgery and drug delivery.

Schematic of the fabrication process. Image Credits: Nature Communication

A team at Johannes Kepler University, Austria has developed a steerable electromechanical robot, printed with liquid metal coils. These can be printed onto different substrates with a range of characteristics like durability and flexibility. The microbots are designed in a curve form to enable easy movement similar to that of a cheetah. This curvature enables the robot to move at a maximum speed by generating a series of waves.

They then added more features to enhance different capabilities like L-shaped feet to accelerate speed in different environments. These L-shaped feet act like paws and tails to enable adaptability. The movements of these robots are then controlled with magnets and they are powered either with a battery pack or via tether.

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The team found that these microbots can move at ultra-fast speeds. They also found that these robots can move at more than two times the speed of a cheetah. These ultrafast robots also demonstrated their durability by working even after flattened by force. These robots also proved to have good navigation skills by jumping and floating around the obstacles. They were able to avoid obstacles and reroute to the destination naturally.

These electromechanical robots can also be customized depending on the material they are printed on and the required characteristics. This easy to customize characteristics paves a new way for the health sector. These tiny, ultrafast microbots can be used in medical investigation. Also, these can be used for noninvasive surgery and internal drug delivery at ease. It is expected to be used in the medical field to ease the job of releasing drugs at a specific internal spot and also noninvasive surgery without opening the human body.


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