Robots aren’t just the one that helps us in our daily work almost human-like machines. The ones that are made of a number of electronic parts, sensors, batteries, and actuators. Robots are any such machine that runs on a computer program to carry out a complex task. These robots can be as big as humans or as small to fit into a blood vessel too!! Sounds weird?? Well, it’s not. Scientists are working on a project of developing smart microrobots.
What are smart microrobots?
Smart microrobots are tiny robots that can deliver a drug directly to the affected tissue in the body. When a medicine goes into the body the other parts might get affected too. Not every drug that comes as medicine is good for the good health it just needs to be injected into that part of the body. For this purpose smart microrobots are being developed.
The scientists working on these smart robots derived their inspiration from the bacteria. Just like the bacteria move through the blood vessels and changes shape as and when required the robot was supposed to be on the same lines. The scientists wanted to make microrobots that are very flexible and can modify their shape when needed. They can pass through the blood vessels and complex systems without making changes in the speed.
The main componenet of microrobots is the hydrogel nanocomposites. It contain magnetic nanoparticles that the researchers can control with a magnetic field. The programming method of the robot makes it possible for the microrobot to travel easily through dense, viscous and fast-moving fluids.
Scientists have trained or programmed the microrobots based on origami-based folding methods. The microrobots can change their shape according to their environment. If the microrobot encounters a change in the liquid or other conditions, it immediately alters its shape so that the change does not affect speed of the movement. In all this, it does not lose its direction of motion.
Scientists can program this change in shape in advance to increase the performance without the use of sensors and actuators. The scientists can externally control the robots using a magnetic field or left to move on their own according to the flow of the liquid.
Inspired by micro-organisms
There are various micro-organisms in the nature that survive environmental changes by altering their shapes and other internal factors. This was the idea for the development of microrobots. The main and the most difficult task was to design and understand the various changes that the microrobot might face. And then to program the microrobot for them.
The cost of manufacturing the microrobots is much reasonable. Right now the team of scientists is working on improving the efficiency of the microrobots. If this comes through as per the expectations it will be a step that will change the way of medication and healing.
Smart microrobots can change the way the medical science thinks. Instead of injecting medicines these can help in effective and fast recovery. The affected tissue being the target the microbots will curb the infection at its root thus reducing the risk of its expansion. The microrobots are still under research and will be in action soon.