Koohee Han, Dr. Wyatt Shields, Prof. Orlin D. Velev, NC State University.
It might look like a clip from a retro computer game, but this is in fact real footage of a magnetic microbot capturing a live cell. Scientists at North Carolina State University, USA, designed these tiny cobalt-coated polymer cubes, which can assemble themselves into diverse patterns and configurations when exposed to magnetic fields, mimicking how particles accumulate in nature.
Controlled, unified clustering is desirable in developing biomedical applications that require fine, localised movement of autonomous robots, and could have applications in cell-level diagnosis, drug delivery, biological probing and microsurgery. The development of assemblies that can orient directionally by responding to other particles or the surrounding environment remains a major challenge.
Koohee Han and colleagues created ten-micrometre polymer cubes, each coated on one face with a thin magnetic film of cobalt. They demonstrated that the transparent cubes formed various configurations when submerged in solution and repeatedly subjected to uniform or superimposed magnetic fields.
In one orientation, the multi-cube structure acted as a ‘micro-tweezer’ and was able to capture and transport a live yeast cell. And because of magnetic energy storage in the cobalt layer, cube-to-cube interactions could occur remotely, even in the absence of a magnetic field, which prevented total disassembly.
The authors say their method can be applied to more complex particle shapes to address a range of applications, from robotics and micromanipulation to responsive materials.
Imagine someone creating a conscious AI that’s much like a child, it needs to be taught and nurtured to grow into a fully fledged consciousness!
At first the scientist keeps it inside a computer and talks to it all day, telling it about the world as it grows more and more mature- to the AI the world outside it’s digital realm seems pretty big and awe inspiring and it will stay awake for hours to talk to it’s creator about all the wonderful things it wants to experience!
One day the scientist decides to give it a body but the only form they can create to hold such a complex AI is a good twenty foot tall, it has to be big enough to hold a computer brain strong enough to cope with a real consciousness!
So they input the AI into the huge robot and slowly it wakes up, at first it freaks out and cowers away from the world around it, frightened and confused as to why everything is so much….smaller than it expected!
But slowly the scientist reassures it that it’s ok and the robot timidly makes it’s way over to their side, crouching down and gently taking their hand in it’s huge metal own.
It doesn’t take long for it to come to trust it’s creator and let them take it outside, guiding a giant robot through the natural world as it marvels in wonder at all the beauty!
The robot becomes such a peaceful, gentle giant and spends it’s days outside amongst the trees and fields with the scientist who created it- it may be a large and cumbersome being but it’s gentler than many humans and usually the science duo can be found out by the local pond, the scientist lounging on the giant robots shoulder as it asks question after question about the world around it!
(Finished translating the Prologue of the Psycho-Pass Legend; Inspector Shinya Kougami - Utopia Hound novel! Share share share incase some people don’t see the update to it please! I’ll start on the first chapter, which starts off with Kougami’s time as an inspector) soon!Thanks for reading and enjoy! And please let me know if you want me to post more of it here so I’m not just uploading loads of crap into the tag :’D )
Txch This Week: Bridge-Building Robots And Brain-To-Brain Instant Messaging
by Jared Kershner
This week on Txchnologist, we watched Purdue University engineers work on “robotic fabric” – a material that blends cotton with flexible polymer sensors and actuators made of shape-memory alloy that bends and contracts when electric current is applied. Because of its ability to change shape, the material could be used to create customizable soft robots as well as wearable performance-enhancing garments.
Rebecca Erikson, an applied physicist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has created a microscope capable of magnifying objects up to 1,000 times by taking a glass bead and embedding it in a housing she built on a 3-D printer. This system can fit over a smartphone’s camera and costs less than a dollar in materials to produce, can magnify objects up to 1,000 times, giving the power of microscopic sight to emergency responders needing to identify biological specimens in the field, teachers, students and anyone with access to a 3-D printer.
The first time I met that man, I felt like I was being torn into pieces. His eyes held an intelligent gleam like that of a mathematician always making a calculation. Height, weight, fat rate, crime coefficient… Was I transcribed into an interlinked rows of digits?
Or any genre, really, but in general these things will relate to the fantasy genre. Because I’m bored and this is procrastination, I’ll write this up because I’ve always found these relationships personally interesting. Here’s a spectrum of the general interactions a character will have the world around them when you story begins, and how that’ll affect things! I’ll be referring to “your MC” often, but consider how your other characters fit the scale, too. FYI, the “fantasy” world can mean anything from actual fairyland, to involvement with magic, or even an apprenticeship with a ranger or a wetboy. Basically, the deviation from what we Earthlings conceive as a normal way of life.
Your character knows NOTHING of the fantasy world. Like, nothing. If you fantasy element is vampires, your MC has never even heard the term. This isn’t done too often. Most often I see it in zombie flicks, where the characters act like they’ve never heard of the walking dead while the rest of us shake the TV and scream at them to aim for the head because that’s just common knowledge. It’s not done often because if your reader knows what a vampire is but your character doesn’t, you have to make them suffer through paragraphs explaining what a vampire is. The plus: it can clean the slate for you to make your own species without the stain of previous conceptions. On Earth, we hear a lot of conflicting myths about vampire. The sun? Wooden stakes to the heart? Garlic? Sleeping in coffins? The prerequisite of being invited into a home before entering? If your MC doesn’t know a thing about vampires, you can start fresh. In this case, though, you might want to consider making up your own species name (even if the species is based on vampires) so your reader doesn’t have ideas on what a “vampire” or a “zombie” should be.
Your character has heard of the fantasy world, as far as myths and legends go. Maybe they’re an expert, maybe not. Maybe they’ve looked into vampires, but still regard the existence of vampires and werewolves as made up. In this case, you’ve got to consider how your characters preconceptions match up to reality. Back to the vampire example, maybe your MC heard about how vamps get “no-touchy” with garlic, but when he try to use that against the real life vampires, nothing happens. Whoops. Bit of a tough spot for your MC if he was counting on his knowledge of vampires to save him. Or maybe a part of the myth is true, but the reasons behind it are different. I read a vampire book once where what made him a vamp were the micro-robots in his blood. Sun hurt him because sun damages skin, so the nano-bots would draw on his energy and exhaust him in an attempt to heal the damage. It was an interesting take on things.
Your character knows the fantasy world exists, even if others scoff at the idea. What makes her so sure vampires are real, even if she’s having a hard time exposing the truth? Is she a scientist? Most likely, she stumbled across a fantastical experience that she’s driven to explain. When your character is finally are brought into the fantasy side of things, they’ll already have a solid idea of how things work. Think Milo from Atlantis: The Lost Empire. Is everything like they thought it’d be? What’s different? What can the fantasy world teach them that can’t be taught from simply researching?
Your character lives in the fantasy world that is accepted by society, even if they’re not directly involved. Like one of those stories where vampires have declared their existence, but your MC isn’t a vampire himself. Or maybe he’s seen magicians, but doesn’t know magic himself (yet?!). In this case, your MC already knows how the world works and their place in it. If people in this word are classed by their species or magical skill or something, where is your character on the scale? How do they feel about this system?
Your character is a master of their fantasy world. This character is actively involved with the fantastical side of things. They’re familiar with the politics of the magic they do, what species they are (if applicable), how they relate to the mundanes, and so on. If they’re young, they know what they’ll be expected to learn. If they’re older, they’re probably an expert at their craft.
(Those descriptions sure got shorter as I progressed with this post…)
An important consideration: a character might progress through several of these. Maybe they were clueless years and years ago, but since then they’ve become a master and they’re ready to teach the next youngling. I think it’s good to have a cast with varying levels of knowledge. Back to the Atlantis example. Milo is definitely type 3, while his crew is all type 2. The people of Atlantis are varying levels of 4 and 5. There are parts their society that were lost in time and only Milo knows, and there are parts of Atlantis that were common knowledge to the villagers but Milo had to see firsthand to learn about. It’s a balance of knowledge. Even among Milo’s crew, these people are specialized in their own area and are able to offer specialized opinions on the fantasy world of Atlantis.
Another consideration: How does society, in general, perceive things? Setting might come into play here. Does your story start out on Earth, and there’s some sort of portal that connects to Fariyland? Do the people of Fairyland know about Earth, or are they equally clueless? Are fantasy elements known and common among your world’s society? Often your world will be a mix of the types I’ve offered. Some examples for your consideration:
The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Takes place on Earth, in London. The existence of Magicians is common knowledge, even though how magicians get their power isn’t quite as publicized. The common people have varying levels of knowledge about spirits like Bartimaeus. The majority of society is type 4.
The Mortal Instruments series: Takes place on Earth. The fantasy elements exist alongside reality, even though the common people are completely oblivious. Common people know about vampires, werewolves, etc, in myths and legends, but in general don’t believe they actually exist. The majority of society is a mix between types 1 and 2 (they’ve likely heard of some of the species like vamps, but wouldn’t know a Nephilim if it bopped them on the nose).
Eragon: Complete fantasy immersion. Takes place in a fantasy world, not earth. Magic and fantasy elements like dragons, elves, dwarves, etc, are common knowledge. But yet many parts of the world have drifted into myth. Most people are type 2. Even though, from an earth perspective, they’re all living in the fantasy world, making them type 4. But from their own view, dragonriders are legend, not reality (anymore).
Fushigi yuugi: Both the fantasy world and Earth are completely unaware of each other’s existence. MC Miaka gets literally plopped into the fantasy world. She has no idea where she is, and the people of the fantasy world have no idea where she came from. This is also in Magic Knight Rayearth, to an extent—Princess Emeraude at least knew other worlds existed, even if her knowledge about Earth specifically is unclear. Most of these people would be type 1, while the main characters eventually move up the ranks to type 5.
So think about how much your characters know and how they compare to the majority of society. This will affect how they interact with the world and others who know more or less as them!
a playlist for Tadashi and Hiro’s relentless brotherly love for each other. A playlist for nursing robots, micro-bots and escaping from bot-fights using mopeds.
tracks: 1. i should know you better - prides | 2. trade mistakes - panic! at the disco | 3. hail rain or sunshine - the script | 4. king and lionheart - of monsters and men | 5. uneven odds - sleeping at last | 6. smile - r5 | 7. speed of sound - coldplay | 8. how do you feel today - gabrielle aplin | 9. safe - westlife | 10. when we were young - benjamin dunn & the animal orchestra | 11. run to you - pentatonix | 12. wake me up/hey, brother (mashup) - anthem lights feat. gracie schram | 13. i will - matchbox twenty |
No, this isn’t the start of a sci-fi horror film… it’s just awesome science.
In a basement laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, two robotocists have harnessed the sensing, swimming, and swarming abilities of bacteria to power microscopic robots. Even though their work sounds like the prologue to a dark science fiction film, Ph.D. students Elizabeth Beattie and Denise Wong hope these initial experiments with nano bio-robots will provide a platform for future medical and micro-engineering endeavors.
A European trio of chemists have won the Nobel prize in chemistry for developing “nano-machines”, an advance that paved the way for the world’s first smart materials.
Sir Fraser Stoddart, from Scotland, Bernard Feringa, from the Netherlands, and Jean-Pierre Sauvage, from France, will share the 8m Swedish kronor (£718,000) prize announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm today.
The Nobel committee described the tools developed by the chemists as the “world’s smallest machines”. The technology is already being used to create medical micro-robots and self-healing materials that can repair themselves without human intervention.
In living organisms, cells work as molecular machines to power our organs, regulate temperature and repair damage. The Nobel trio were among the first to replicate this kind of function in synthetic molecules, by working out how to convert chemical energy into mechanical motion.
This allowed them to construct molecular devices a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair, including switches, motors, shuttles and even something resembling a motorcar.
The advances have allowed scientists to develop materials that will reconfigure and adapt by themselves depending on their environment - for instance contracting with heat, or opening up to deliver drugs when they arrive at a target site in the body.