Wednesday, 10 August 2016

These Robots Are Chains of Tiny Magnetic Beads

robo

Healing with Magnets – Microscopic Surgical Robots


Healing with magnets could someday be considered as a genuine solution if the magnets tend be microscopic surgical robots. Operating the same magnetic fields which had been portrayed in controlling the swimming motion of microscopic robots, a team of engineers at Drexel University had proven the capability of assembling and disassembling chains of minute magnetic beads.

According to a study co-author, presently an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Utah, Henry Fu informed Live Science that if they tend to have these simple geometries as building blocks it can be put together to make more complicated shapes which could do more things.

The expectation is to ultimately utilise these remotely controlled chains named modular microrobots, in the human body for the purpose of medical use like delivering directed medicines or performing surgeries on a small, non-invasive scale according to the researchers.

Various combinations as well as shapes of the spherical beads could mean better adaptability. Fu stated that the beads, for instance could be transported to an area in the body with ease in one configuration, though it could then be deployed into various shapes to move through various tissues or perform precise tasks.

Chains Viewed under Microscope/Remotely Operated


A researcher in the Nanorobotics Laboratory at Polytechnique Montreal, Charles Tremblay, who is not involved in the study, had informed Live Science in an email that the project seems to be a good idea. However he also commented that some of the challenges comprise of the need for visual feedback and transparent medium, to exercise the robots.

Researchers view the chains under microscope and remotely operatethe micro-swimmers by modifying an array of three solenoids, electromagnets which tend to produce controlled magnetic field and when it is rotated, the chains tend to swim through liquid. A chain of three beads just about 10 microns long, for perception, the width of an normal hair of human around 100 microns, is said to be the simplest of the micro-swimmers which the team seemed to work with. It makes them a bit bigger than bacteria which Fu had researched earlier. He comments that he had looked at the fluid mechanics of how bacteria tend to swim. The principles seem to be the same irrespective if you are a robot or a living thing.

Scratched the Surface with Proof of Principle


The researchers worked out methods of building the chains without the magnets resisting each other and disassembling the chains seems to be comparatively easy. The scientists observed that more drawn out chains seemed to swim speedier when turned at the same recurrence as the shorter one, displaying at a fundamental level that typical progresses could have various services.

 There could be various possible procedure of the globule but according to Fu they are not at the phase where they know exactly what shape is needed to get to, towards the end.Fu has stated that `you spin them around fast enough and they will fall apart’. He further added that they had just scratched the surface with a proof of principle and that is what makes it exciting. There seems to be plenty of possibilities.

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