Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > Self-driving microrobots

This is a schematic of autonomous navigation mechanism via shapeshifting
CREDIT
Yong Dou/Columbia Engineering
This is a schematic of autonomous navigation mechanism via shapeshifting CREDIT Yong Dou/Columbia Engineering

Abstract:
Most synthetic materials, including those in battery electrodes, polymer membranes, and catalysts, degrade over time because they don't have internal repair mechanisms. If you could distribute autonomous microrobots within these materials, then you could use the microrobots to continuously make repairs from the inside. A new study from the lab of Kyle Bishop, associate professor of chemical engineering, proposes a strategy for microscale robots that can sense symptoms of a material defect and navigate autonomously to the defect site, where corrective actions could be performed. The study was published in Physical Review Research December 2, 2019.

Self-driving microrobots

New York, NY | Posted on December 10th, 2019

Swimming bacteria look for regions of high nutrient concentration by integrating chemical sensors and molecular motors, much like a self-driving car that uses information from cameras and other sensors to select an appropriate action to reach its destination. Researchers have tried to mimic these behaviors by using small particles propelled by chemical fuels or other energy inputs. While spatial variations in the environment (e.g., in the fuel concentration) can act to physically orient the particle and thereby direct its motion, this type of navigation has limitations.

"Existing self-propelled particles are more like a runaway train that's mechanically steered by the winding rails than a self-driving car that's autonomously guided by sensory information," says Bishop. "We wondered if we could design microscale robots with material sensors and actuators that navigate more like bacteria."

Bishop's team is developing a new approach to encode the autonomous navigation of microrobots that is based on shape-shifting materials. Local features of the environment, such as temperature or pH, determine the three-dimensional shape of the particle, which in turn influences its self-propelled motion. By controlling the particle's shape and its response to environmental changes, the researchers model how microrobots can be engineered to swim up or down stimulus gradients, even those too weak to be directly felt by the particle.

"For the first time, we show how responsive materials could be used as on-board computers for microscale robots, smaller than the thickness of a human hair, that are programmed to navigate autonomously," says Yong Dou, a co-author of the study and a PhD student in Bishop's lab. "Such microrobots could perform more complex tasks such as distributed sensing of material defects, autonomous delivery of therapeutic cargo, and on-demand repairs of materials, cells, or tissues."

Bishop's team is now setting up experiments to demonstrate in practice their theoretical navigation strategy for microrobots, using shape-shifting materials such as liquid crystal elastomers and shape memory alloys. They expect to show the experiments will prove that stimuli-responsive, shape-shifting microparticles can use engineered feedback between sensing and motion to navigate autonomously.

###

This work was supported by the Center for Bio-Inspired Energy Science, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences under Award DE-SC0000989.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Holly Evarts

212-854-3206

Copyright © Columbia University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Paper:

Kyle Bishop:

Chemical engineering:

Related News Press

News and information

HKUST researchers develop a novel integration scheme for efficient coupling between III-V and silicon November 18th, 2022

Researchers at Purdue unlock light-matter interactions on sub-nanometer scales, leading to ‘picophotonics’ November 18th, 2022

Rice turns asphaltene into graphene for composites: ‘Flashed’ byproduct of crude oil could bolster materials, polymer inks November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

Chemistry

New $1.25 million research project will map materials at the nanoscale: The work can lead to new catalysts and other compounds that could be applicable in a range of areas including quantum science, renewable energy, life sciences and sustainability October 28th, 2022

Liquid crystal templated chiral nanomaterials October 14th, 2022

Scientists count electric charges in a single catalyst nanoparticle down to the electron: Tenfold improvement in the sensitivity of electron holography reveals the net charge in a single platinum nanoparticle with a precision of just one electron, providing fundamental informatio October 14th, 2022

Wrapping of nanosize copper cubes can help convert carbon dioxide into other chemicals September 23rd, 2022

Robotics

CEA-Leti Barn-Owl Inspired, Object-Localization System Uses Up to ‘5 Orders of Magnitude’ Less Energy than Existing Technology: Paper in Nature Communications Describes Neuromorphic Computing Device With ‘Virtually No Power Consumption’ When Idle, Thanks to On-Chip Non-Volatile M July 8th, 2022

Nanostructured fibers can impersonate human muscles June 3rd, 2022

Self-propelled, endlessly programmable artificial cilia: Simple microstructures that bend, twist and perform stroke-like motions could be used for soft robotics, medical devices and more May 6th, 2022

Shape memory in hierarchical networks – the astonishing property that allows manipulation of morphing materials with micro scale resolutions February 25th, 2022

Self-repairing Materials

Materials scientists learn how to make liquid crystal shape-shift September 25th, 2020

Disruptive by Design: Nano Now February 1st, 2019

Fluid-inspired material self-heals before your eyes: Coating for metals rapidly heals over scratches and scrapes to prevent corrosion January 30th, 2019

Manufacturing microspheres: Technique mass-produces uniform, encapsulated particles for pharmaceuticals, many other uses October 6th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

NIST’s grid of quantum islands could reveal secrets for powerful technologies November 18th, 2022

A new experiment pushes the boundaries of our understanding of topological quantum matter: The behavior of bosonic particles observed in a magnetic insulator fabricated from ruthenium chloride can be explained by a relatively new and little-studied physics phenomenon called the B November 18th, 2022

Trial by wind: Testing the heat resistance of carbon fiber-reinforced ultra-high-temperature ceramic matrix composites: Researchers use an arc-wind tunnel to test the heat resistance of carbon fiber reinforced ultra-high-temperature ceramic matrix composites November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

Possible Futures

HKUST researchers develop a novel integration scheme for efficient coupling between III-V and silicon November 18th, 2022

NIST’s grid of quantum islands could reveal secrets for powerful technologies November 18th, 2022

A new experiment pushes the boundaries of our understanding of topological quantum matter: The behavior of bosonic particles observed in a magnetic insulator fabricated from ruthenium chloride can be explained by a relatively new and little-studied physics phenomenon called the B November 18th, 2022

Trial by wind: Testing the heat resistance of carbon fiber-reinforced ultra-high-temperature ceramic matrix composites: Researchers use an arc-wind tunnel to test the heat resistance of carbon fiber reinforced ultra-high-temperature ceramic matrix composites November 18th, 2022

Announcements

HKUST researchers develop a novel integration scheme for efficient coupling between III-V and silicon November 18th, 2022

NIST’s grid of quantum islands could reveal secrets for powerful technologies November 18th, 2022

A new experiment pushes the boundaries of our understanding of topological quantum matter: The behavior of bosonic particles observed in a magnetic insulator fabricated from ruthenium chloride can be explained by a relatively new and little-studied physics phenomenon called the B November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

An on-chip time-lens generates ultrafast pulses: New device opens the doors to applications in communication, quantum computing, astronomy November 18th, 2022

Researchers at Purdue unlock light-matter interactions on sub-nanometer scales, leading to ‘picophotonics’ November 18th, 2022

Rice turns asphaltene into graphene for composites: ‘Flashed’ byproduct of crude oil could bolster materials, polymer inks November 18th, 2022

How “2D” materials expand: New technique that accurately measures how atom-thin materials expand when heated could help engineers develop faster, more powerful electronic devices November 18th, 2022

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project