by Michael Keller
Engineers looking to build electronic sensors and circuits so small they can’t be seen with the human eye may soon employ tiny helpers to do their work.
University of California, San Diego researchers have created two types of nanorobots that can swim over and burn patterns into ultraviolet light-sensitive surfaces. These controlled surface features are used to fabricate electronics components that measure a fraction of a human hair.
The self-propelled, chemically powered robots that are guided by magnetic fields could be valuable in the constant drive to make electronics for wearable tech and other applications smaller and smaller.
“All we need is these self-propelled nanorobots and UV light,” said engineering doctoral student Jinxing Li. “They work together like minions, moving and writing and are easily controlled by a simple magnet.”
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