Smivs writes "The BBC are reporting on the development of tiny motors the size of a grain of salt which could power surgical Microbots. Some surgical procedures are hindered by the size or inflexibility of current instruments. For example, the labyrinthine network of blood vessels in the brain prevents the use of catheters threaded through larger blood vessels. Researchers have long envisioned that trends of miniaturisation would lead to tiny robots that could get around easily in the body. The problem until now has been powering them. Conventional electric motors do not perform as well as they are scaled down in size. As they approach millimetre dimensions, they barely have the power to overcome the resistance in their bearings. Now, research reported in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering has demonstrated a motor about 1/4mm wide, about the width of two human hairs."