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Robotics Technology

Flying Micro-Robot Takes Off 72

Posted by samzenpus
from the fly-on-the-wall dept.
AndreV writes "A University of Waterloo in Ontario engineering research team has developed the world's first flying micro-robot capable of manipulating objects for micro-scale applications, which include micro-assembly of mechanical components, handling of biological samples and even microsurgery. It moves around and manipulates objects with micro-grippers, remotely controlled by a laser-focusing beam (heating the pincers with a laser opens them; when the laser is turned off, they cool and close). Its magnetic drive mechanism controls the field using continuous feedback from positioning sensors in order to position the 'bot. 'It can enter virtually any space and can be operated in a sealed enclosure by a person outside,' the project leaders says, 'which makes it useful for handling bio-hazardous materials or working in vacuum chambers and clean rooms.' The video of the contraption shows it floating in mid-air."
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Flying Micro-Robot Takes Off

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  • Lies (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EkriirkE (1075937) on Monday April 13, 2009 @02:15PM (#27561223) Homepage
    It is levitating, not flying. The 'pincers' are likely just bimetal springs or that glob in the center expands with heat to spread the pincers.

    Composition: 2 magnets polarized vertical and horizontal each and heat-expansive rods as "pincers" and what looks like scotch tape holding the pincers to the lower magnet.
  • by jw3 (99683) on Monday April 13, 2009 @02:45PM (#27561721) Homepage
    In a 1964 novel called "The Invincible" [wikipedia.org], Stanisaw Lem [wikipedia.org] (author of Solaris [imdb.com]) described an evolution of robots ("necroevolution"). The final outcome of the process is a symbiosis between plant-like forms that can source solar energy and relatively simple, highly mobile microbots that are capable to form complex clouds.
    Depending on the quantity of microbots that go into such cloud, the cloud can be capable of highly complex and spectacular actions (no pretence of AI, though; pure, hard SF). As the microbots are replaceable, fighting such clouds is like fighting against a shadow.
    Sorry, felt like mentioning this :-)
    j.
  • by hldn (1085833) on Monday April 13, 2009 @03:15PM (#27562217) Homepage

    i'm sure i wasn't alone in thinking this thing needs a tiny camera stuck on it for uhhh.. certain purposes.

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