Researchers in Germany have developed a prototype of a tiny robot. This robot is around one seventh of an inch with very basic design. It may not look like much, but this tiny invention could change lives.
Though it has not been tested on humans yet, the researchers hope to use it for medical purposes. Thanks to its small size, the robot would be able to move around the stomach or urinary system. The goal is to use the robot to deliver drugs to targeted areas of the body.
If successful this robot could change the world of medicine. Currently the smallest medical devices are catheters, which are limited because they are always tethered and a millimeter in diameter. The robot would be able to access tiny, hard to reach places and perform medical tasks with little to no invasion.
The robot can move in many different ways due to its minimalistic design. It can crawl, walk, swim, roll and jump. Researchers looked to jellyfishes and caterpillars for inspiration. The robot can move from watery environments into a dry one with ease.
The unique robot is made out of an elastomer rubber. Inside it is filled with many small magnetic particles. The magnetic particles are then programmed from the outside. Using magnetic field researchers can change the shape of the robot, causing it to move.
This is just a starting point for researchers. They want to work on creating even smaller robots made out of biodegradable materials. With them hard at work it is only a matter of time before these tiny robots change the world.