Researchers from nano-roboticists at Penn State have designed tiny robots capable of sailing across our bodies using lasers.
These ultra-tiny robots can be mass-manufactured using existing silicon technology with a new kind of electrochemical actuator. The ultra-tiny robots require the light of a laser to propel them to swim across a watery surface with ease. An actuator is a device that converts energy into motion.
These robots are made of just two simple parts: a pair of front and back legs made from the actuators, and the body made of silicon electronics. They are just about .04 millimeters wide and .07 millimeters long.
The researchers say that their actuator design will be able to achieve low power and voltage actuation while maintaining sustainable force and a small curvature radius.
These tiny robots are exceptional because they use the same fabrication techniques seen in silicon computer chips. Researchers were able to successfully fit 1 million of these ultra-tiny robots onto a singular four-inch silicon wafer. So they may be produced en masse at an unbelievably low price of $0.01 per robot.