Navigation Links
'Soft' (and miniaturized) robots

Forget cogwheels, pistons and levers: miniaturized robots of the future will be "soft".

"If I think of the robots of tomorrow, what comes to mind are the tentacles of an octopus or the trunk of an elephant rather than the mechanical arm of a crane or the inner workings of a watch. And if I think of micro-robots then I think of unicellular organisms moving in water. The robots of the future will be increasingly like biological organisms" explains Antonio De Simone who, together with Marino Arroyo of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, has just published a study in the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids.

De Simone and his team at SISSA have been studying the movement of euglenids, unicellular aquatic animals, for several years. One of the aims of De Simone's research which has recently been awarded a European Research Council Advanced Grant of 1,300,000 euro is to transfer the knowledge acquired in euglenids to micro-robotics, a field that represents a promising challenge for the future. Micro-robots may in fact carry out a number of important functions, for example for human health, by delivering drugs directly to where they are needed, re-opening occluded blood vessels, or helping to close wounds, to name just a few.

To do this, these tiny robots will have to be able to move around efficiently. "Imagine trying to miniaturize a device made up of levers and cogwheels: you can't go below a certain minimal size. Instead, by mimicking biological systems we can go all the way down to cell size, and this is exactly the direction research is taking. We, in particular, are working on movement and studying how certain unicellular organisms with highly efficient locomotion move".

In their study, De Simone and Arroyo simulated euglenid species with different shapes and locomotion methods, based chiefly on cell body deformation and swelling, to describe in detail the mechanics and characteristics of the movement obtained.

"Our work not only helps to understand the movement mechanism of these unicellular organisms, but it provides a knowledge base to plan the locomotion system of future micro-robots".


Contact: Federica Sgorbissa
International School of Advanced Studies (SISSA)

Related biology news :

1. Aware Supplies Saudi Arabia with Biometrics Software to Help Facilitate Pilgrimage Travel
2. The Gorgons of the eastern Pacific: scientists describe 2 new gorgonian soft coral species
3. Researchers regrow hair, cartilage, bone, soft tissues
4. Verizon Advances Patient Care With Launch of Mobile Health Software Solution
5. New software traces origins of genetic disorders 20 times more accurately
6. ValidSoft and Spindle to Demo New Mobile Commerce Ecosystem at Money2020
7. DigitalPersona Expands Secure Banking Solutions Portfolio with Software Acquisition
8. QUT develops software to reduce greenhouse gases
9. BioClaim, Inc. Signs Biometric Software Contract with Amerigroup Florida
10. Researchers develop software tool for cancer genomics
11. Soft drinks and behavioral problems in young children
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
'Soft' (and miniaturized) robots
(Date:10/1/2015)... Oct. 1, 2015  Biometrics includes diverse set ... body characteristics, such as fingerprints, eye retinas, facial ... of biometrics technology has been constantly increasing in ... five years. In addition to the most prominent ... recognition, other means of biometric authentication are rapidly ...
(Date:9/29/2015)... , Sept. 29, 2015 News ... productivity while also saving energy , Minimized design ... Low Power Active Mode and embedded Fujitsu PalmSecure authentication ... Fujitsu today shows that good things come ... refreshed models to its enterprise desktop and mobile portfolio. ...
(Date:9/28/2015)... , September 28, 2015 ... expected to reach USD 12.03 billion by 2020, growing ... Technological advancements such as Backside Illumination (BSI) technique to ... over the forecast period.      (Logo: ... of the chip to reduce loss and, thus, reduce ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... PARK, N.J. and SAN DIEGO ... (BASF) and Mast Therapeutics, Inc. have agreed to collaborate ...  Currently, excipient-grade poloxamer 188 NF, marketed by BASF under ... used in a variety of pharmaceutical and biological applications, ... Poloxamer 188 is the starting material for Mast,s lead ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015  Generex Biotechnology Corporation ( ... a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with MediTemp Ltd. (MediTemp) ... a proprietary cooling technology designed to improve sperm quality in ... United States and three million men in ... 44 diagnosed as infertile.  For 42% of those men, the ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... , ... Proove Biosciences, a commercial and research leader ... Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) Pain Center to ... Research Clinical Objectives Linking Genotypic and Phenotypic Association with Pain Outcomes) is one ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... Spirax Sarco, the leader in products ... CSM-C 600 compact clean steam generator . This unit is a skid ... of HTM2031, HTM2010, and EN285 standards. The CMS-C 600 generator can produce up ...
Breaking Biology Technology: