Chinese Academy of Sciences has developed a micro-robot that can swim on the water surface

According to the Shenyang Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, the micro-nano research group of the institute has carried out innovative research and developed a multi-stimuli-responsive superhydrophobic micro-robot using the template-assisted method.

The micro-robot has a unit that senses infrared light and a magnetic field and can store chemical reagents so that it can swim quickly on the water surface under the control of light fields, magnetic fields, etc. (that is, multi-field drive).

The researchers evaluated the stability and environmental adaptability of the micro-robot, and the results showed that the robot can realize the pre-programmed trajectory movement on the water surface, especially the movement of different trajectories under the action of chemical reagents and the drive of the magnetic field. The researchers further explored the possibility of realizing the motion control of multiple robots under the drive of multiple fields.

The results show that under the action of a light field and magnetic field, multiple robots can realize cooperative operation and can grip structural blocks that are larger than themselves. With the improvement of the preparation process, the size of the micro-robot is expected to be further reduced, and it has application prospects in the fields of cell manipulation and biological tissue construction.

The relevant research results were published in ACS Nano under the title Multistimuli-Responsive Hydroplaning Superhydrophobic Microrobots with Programmable Motion and Multifunctional Applications.

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