Scientists have created a tiny self-propelled robot that can withstand virtually any deformation. The size of the electronic microrobot is no more than a 1 cent coin, according to a study by an international group of scientists led by Dr. Oliver Schmidt of the Chemnitz University of Technology (TU Chemnitz), published in the journal Nature.
For the first time, the robot of this research group was introduced 10 years ago, all these years, scientists have been finalizing the technology to make the device more flexible and independent.
Schmidt and his colleagues made a flexible microsystem to create a new device by integrating micro- and nanoelectronic components on the surface of the microcircuit, similar to the way silicon technology is used to create computer microcircuits. However, the key difference between their system and conventional computer chips is that this design includes jet engines.
“We first began to explore the idea of creating a tiny micro-robot system, which independently moves from a powerful jet engine and has microelectronic components on board, almost ten years ago. Our initial idea was to create an intelligent self-propelled microsystem that can interact with individual biological cells, the sizes of which are similar to the microsystem itself. This system should be able to move, feel the environment, transport goods, deliver drugs”.
During the study, scientists applied high voltage materials to the chip, which are folded into special structures if necessary. This process can be controlled.
Hypothetically, scientists plan to use such robots to work in the human body, but now the robot is not yet effective enough for such procedures.