Laser jolts microscopic electronic robots into motion

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Nutt, David. "Laser jolts microscopic electronic robots into motion" (sic on capitalization: basically a news release, from PR at Cornell U), available here.[1] 26 August 2020.

Lede, done as a headnote: "Researchers from Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania built microsopic robots that consist of a simple circuit made from silicon photovoltaics – essentially the torso and brain – and four electrochemical actuators that function as legs. When laser light is shined on the photovoltaics, the robots walk."

Opening summary:

In 1959, former Cornell physicist Richard Feynman delivered his famous lecture “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom,” in which he described the opportunity for shrinking technology, from machines to computer chips, to incredibly small sizes. Well, the bottom just got more crowded.

A Cornell-led collaboration has created the first microscopic robots that incorporate semiconductor components, allowing them to be controlled – and made to walk – with standard electronic signals.

These robots, roughly the size of paramecium [sic], provide a template for building even more complex versions that utilize silicon-based intelligence, can be mass produced, and may someday travel through human tissue and blood.

Note for such works as S. Lem's "The Invincible" and "The Upside-Down Evolution," R. K. Morgan's Broken Angels, and the film FANTASTIC VOYAGE.

See also

"Dragonflies or Little Spies? / Scientists work on robot bugs that could gather intelligence."
"Electronically integrated, mass-manufactured, microscopic robots," Nature on line, 26 August 2020.[2][3]


RDE, finishing, 24Sep20