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A four-inch wafer of silicon has been turned into an army of one million microscopic, walking robots, thanks to some clever engineering employed by researchers at Cornell University in New York.
a team of roboticists detail the creation of their invisible army of robots, which are less than 0.1mm in size (about the width of a human hair) and cannot be seen with the naked eye. The robots are rudimentary and are reminiscent of Frogger, the famous 1980s arcade game.
They've been designed to operate in all manner of environments such as extreme acidity and temperatures. One of their chief purposes, the researchers say, could be to investigate the human body from the inside.
The research team were able to show the microrobots devices could fit within the narrowest hypodermic needle and thus, could be "injected" into the body.
The researchers are now trying to program the robots to perform certain tasks, using more complex computation and autonomy. Improvements could pave the way for swarms of robots to head inside the body and repair wounds or go on the attack against diseases
In 1959, Nobel laureate and nanotechnology visionary Richard Feynman suggested that it would be interesting to “swallow the surgeon” — that is, to make a tiny robot that could travel through blood vessels to carry out surgery where needed.
Well this sure seems like coincidental timing with everything going on but researchers have developed microscopic robots small enough to be injected into the human body. Currently they're only able to be manually controlled but research is already moving towards giving them autonomy for complex tasks.
originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: dug88
Powered by solar cells. To operate inside the human body they will need a different power source. Unless you are going to inject tiny laser pointers too.
They are not programmable or autonomous. Pretty neat though.
originally posted by: FinallyAwake
Would make a great weapon too. Micheal Chreighton was all over this stuff in his book 'Prey'.
Pretty good read if i remember correctly.