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asked Sep 14, 2022 in 3D Segmentation by freeamfva (39,060 points)


A team of roboticists from China has developed a spray that can transform inanimate objects, like a strip of paper, into a fully articulating robotic drone controlled by a simple magnet.To get more news about Robots on Demand, you can visit official website.

This Frankenstein monster-esque creation may sound menacing or like something from an old Batman & Robin comic, but it has the potential to completely change how drugs are delivered in the human body.

Over the last decade, a slew of innovations in biomimicry and material design have brought roboticists' dream of sending tiny, insect-sized robots into human bodies close to reality. But there are still fundamental limitations holding this technology back. And one of them is manufacturing.

"[A]t least two key challenges must be taken into consideration: unmodifiable structure after fabrication and target size increment," the authors of this study write.

Simply: You need to be able to keep the robots supple enough to change shape and scale on demand.

While scientists have created armies of tiny bots before, the authors of this new study argue that these robots still suffer from limited deformability — they can stretch, compress, or roll, but they cannot change their overall shape. In the body, that limitation may present unforeseen problems, like navigating a stomach ulcer blocking a clear path through the body.

So rather than designing a super-specialized fleet of tiny bots that could only complete one job at a time, the authors of this study took a different approach. They designed a magnetic spray to transform scraps of paper into shapeshifting bots on demand.

"Under the actuation of magnetic field, the constructed millirobots are able to demonstrate a range of locomotive abilities: crawling, walking, and rolling," report the authors.In their spray, dubbed "M-Spray" scientists combined a mix of iron particles, gluten, and a kind of 3D printing material called polyvinyl alcohol. When first sprayed on an object, M-Spray is sticky enough to seep into a surface's nooks and crannies, creating a thorough coating. After application, the thin film becomes rigid and tightly bonded to its host material.

Like a puppeteer pulling strings, the scientists can then control these mini bots using a simple magnet. In videos of their trials, the robots hobble, slither, or scurry across tables with spider-like ease.

For more granular movements, researchers also designed a stencil-like application method that allowed them to spray only certain quadrants of a material. This tactic created more appendages to control, and resulted in more advanced looking motion.Incredibly, these bots can stretch out to 1000 times their own volume and bear the brunt of 100 times their own weight.

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