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Micro-robots dancing on a pinhead

Years of research at Duke University have yielded microscopic robots that can maneuver independently of each other and organize with each other to form self-assembling structures (video clip attached)

A screenshot of the microrobot dance at Duke University. From the scientific article describing them
A screenshot of the microrobot dance at Duke University. From the scientific article describing them

Years of research at Duke University have yielded microscopic robots capable of individually maneuvering and organizing with each other to form self-assembling structures.

The micro-robots are designed like tiny spoons, but their size is estimated in microns - millionths of a meter. They are almost a hundred times smaller than any robotic design that preceded them. The robots are produced in the appropriate size to perform various small tasks, such as movement on chips.

"It's wonderful to be able to control and assemble such small objects with such high resolution," says Bruce Donald, a professor of computer engineering and biochemistry at Duke University.

In the films taken by the research group, two micro-robots can be seen dancing to the sounds of Strauss' Wells on a XNUMX millimeter long dance floor. In another film the robots circle precisely when their arms are pulled to the surface by an electric charge. Recently, researchers were able to make a group of five robots move in cooperation with each other under the same control system.

Donald has been working on earlier versions of microrobots since 1992, at various universities. The first versions were arrays of tiny arms that could "propel things like microchips on them, similar to the way a rock singer propels his fans' arms forward," he says. "We made 15,000 silicone arms in every square inch."

In February 2006, Donald, Paprotani, Levy and other research partners reported on the basics of the current planning. The width of the robots is about 60 microns, their length is about 250 microns and their height is 10 microns. Each of them receives a power supply from the electrically charged surface on which they stand. The robots move themselves along the surface in steps of 10 to 20 nanometers at a time, but these steps can be repeated up to 20,000 times per second.

The microrobots are so small because they don't carry harnesses connected to an external control system. Each one of them was created using a microchip processing technique, and is designed to respond in a different way to the same "global control signal" - loading and unloading of voltages on the robot's body parts. According to Donald, this global control is similar to the ways in which proteins in cells respond to chemical signals.

In their new report, the group shows that five microrobots can move forward, turn and circle together in pre-planned ways. This choreography is possible because each of them is built in slightly different dimensions and has a different level of difficulty. The dance itself is pre-mapped by mathematical means, and in the end the micro-robots unite into a group that can form the basis for more elaborate developments.

"At first we wanted to build something like a car that could travel on a microscopic scale," says Donald. "What we've been able to do now is create the first microscopic traffic jam."

He says that it took five years - between 1997 and 2002 - to create a micro-robot that could operate without a harness. Three more years passed before they managed to get the robots to move under global control, and another three years before they managed to give the robots the ability to move independently of each other.

"The hard part was designing how many micro-robots could work independently, even though they all receive the same power supply and control," he says.

Donald and other researchers at Duke University are now thinking about using the controlled microrobots to insert tiny nanometer electrodes into nerve cells. This research will receive support from the Duke Neuroscience Institute.

For news at Duke University

24 תגובות

  1. thanks Michael. I must admit that the story about the incredibly simple way of measuring the diameter of the Earth continues to move me even the third time I read it.

    It's amazing what insights one person, who is willing to think differently from everyone else, can reach.

  2. Roy:
    Correction to the historical facts.
    The Greeks, already in the third century BC, not only knew that the earth was round but also calculated its circumference.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes#Eratosthenes.27_measurement_of_the_Earth.27s_circumference

    In general, what your words show is the following familiar proverb: "even a blind rooster sometimes finds a grain".
    To this must be added the ambiguity in which things are worded so that anyone can interpret them as they wish - this is the secret of Nostradamus' magic.

    But you have no chance of convincing Yanon because he doesn't even try to explain to us why God didn't know that the rabbit and the hare don't chew the cud and that a shefai is not equal to three.
    He ignores the blindness and focuses on the grains (about which he is also wrong, but it is already less essential).

  3. Yanon:
    The fact that you do not refer is of course progress because your reference is fundamentally false.

  4. Yinon,

    There is no such thing as a 'fixed fact in the Torah'. If you look carefully at the Talmud and the Mishnah from which you quote, you will find that they contain the opinions of hundreds of different rabbis, which sometimes conflict with each other.

    But speaking of scientific facts in the Mishnah, let me show you a number of scientific facts already revealed in the Qur'an. This is really an amazing thing:

    1. Physicists today believe that in the beginning there was the big bang, and then the universe was filled with thin gas molecules, which slowly crystallized into stars.
    And here, in the Qur'an we find that in the beginning, Allah "then turned to the heavens, which were smoke..."
    How did the writer of the Koran know that in the beginning everything was gas?

    2. The fact that the earth is round and revolves around itself was discovered only in the 16th century. And here, already in the Koran it is written that, "He truly created the heavens and the earth. He rolled the night over the day, and the day over the night..." And this can only be done in a circular motion - day to night and night to day - and hence it circled around itself.

    3. We know today that our solar system moves through space. And here, already in the Koran we find that, "He is the one who created the day and the night, the sun and the moon sail in space."
    How did the author of the Koran know all this? It is clear that Allah gave him his inspiration!

    4. The higher you go, the less oxygen there is in the air and the thinner the atmosphere. This phenomenon was only explained in the 18th century when the composition of air was discovered. But already in the Koran we come across the description of the phenomenon - "and those who want to deceive, their faces will be tortured as if they had risen to the sky".
    How could the Koran predict this phenomenon, unless it is of heavenly origin?

    5. "Allah created seven heavens..."
    These are the seven different layers of the atmosphere: troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, ozone layer, ionosphere and exosphere.
    Today we also know that the atmosphere protects the Earth from comet strikes and cosmic radiation. And we also find an expression for this in the Koran: "We made the sky to protect the earth like a roof".

    All this, Yanon, is only a very small part of the scientific truths that exist in the Koran. And note that the Mishnah was written by rabbis, while the Koran was written by Muhammad in his honor and by himself - the great prophet of Allah, and under his blessed inspiration. The rabbis could learn all these scientific facts from information that existed in their time. Muhammad, on the other hand, was just a simple merchant who received the scriptures directly from Allah.

    So why should I not believe in the Koran, as the true death of Allah?

  5. Yehuda, you are really nice, you have nice opinions, but you forgot one question.. You didn't answer the answer, that means that whatever you say will not interest me, because to me, you are just another one who dismisses a question indirectly because he doesn't know how to answer it!!
    I didn't come to try to bring people back. Roy and I just talk and he explains and I ask, don't get involved in a conversation that doesn't involve you.

  6. Look why Yanon is dragging you. We have an article about micro robots on the head of a pin and he manages to drag you into an endless debate about his religious beliefs.

    Gentlemen, this is a losing battle!

    His mind is full of false quotes about well-known professors and everything is a song of praise to "our holy teachings" and "the sages who know everything".
    I understand you wanting to dissuade him from his bullshit but you don't understand the well-oiled system that takes every shred of personality out of these people. Soon he will not take any step without his Rebbe's approval. The converts are at the bottom of the hierarchy of the ultra-Orthodox, without affiliation and they marry only among themselves. They are known for their extremes in their innocence and make life bitter for their parents and the rest of their family and everyone around them. With their help, the ultra-Orthodox control the way of life of the entire family of the repentant with methods such as, in which the repentant threatens his parents: If you do not keep Shabbat, I will not visit, nor will I show you your grandchildren. The mitzvot of honoring a father and mother is completely nullified in their opinion if the parents are secular and even if he is religious enough.
    The penitent is euphoric as if he had won the greatest prize of his life, he will only get out of it when he realizes that he has become spineless.
    Notice how much he tries to force his opinion on you. Leave him because the battle is already lost.
    The same phenomenon was in the last century with the communists and Marxism. The budding communist thought he had discovered the secret of the universe and no evidence helped that the newspapers were full of them showing the murder and filth in the above teachings. I know this first hand. I was there.
    The religion, the communists, the sects of all kinds, etc., all aim to conquer your personality and give you the feeling that here you have gained enlightenment that is worth a lot.
    What is promised to the aforementioned Yoon in exchange for his whole personality, his soul and his essence, a great reward, but, after he dies, in heaven, give us now what we want and we will pay you after you die.
    As someone who returned some questions, the method is first of all to talk to them face to face, in addition to showing them their nonsense in their own books!, another thing is to be careful not to cancel everything written in the book of books and to show the best in it (and there is in it) in all respects. Once they realize that not everything is true in their holy books, their whole system will be shaken.
    But first, only with four eyes.
    And by the way, I wouldn't be surprised if the person presenting himself as 16 years old is a convert who has taken courses on the subject of return, which could compete with any similar course in marketing.
    This is not Michael arguing with Yehuda or with a point. who know each other and sometimes are convinced. It is built not to be convinced of anything and to tire and touch you and it does so successfully. Answer him briefly and don't hesitate.

    Have a good week everyone
    Sabdarmish Yehuda

  7. And Roy, here's something else that says, if you want, I can bring a lot more..

    From what day of pregnancy is the fetus considered a person for everything?

    A quote from the words of Prof. David Liger from the Central University of Washington in his book "The Games in Life"
    "We don't know enough about the development of the fetus... From about the 40th day, when the basic structure of the brain is evident, little activity of waves can be noticed..."
    British scientists who participated in the research conducted by the "Council for Fetal Research" and its results were published in the medical journals "New Scientist" according to the results of the research: Fetuses feel pain from the 40th day of pregnancy. Which means that it becomes a person!
    The report recommends informing all women who want to have an abortion.

    Here is a mishna that deals with the laws of the purity of a woman who miscarries, the mishna divides between a situation in which the abortion occurred after the fetus was considered a person for all intents and purposes and a situation in which the fetus was miscarried before. And so it is said:
    "A miscarriage for the fortieth day does not fear the birth [regarding the laws of impurity and purity]
    [The abortion] on the forty-first day, you will sit for the male and the female and the woman."

    How did the writer of the mishna know about two thousand years ago information that was discovered only at the end of the twentieth century using highly sophisticated technological tools?!
    If you want more proof, just ask.

  8. Roy,

    But the Torah is something that is written and that is passed down from generation to generation and it has endless things that are hidden in it.. the Greeks thought they had many theories anyone can come up with theories today .. but in the Torah it is a written fact..
    Can you explain the phenomenon of the biblical cipher?

  9. Yanon:
    The fact that you lie in your quote of Einstein does not surprise me at all because your whole world is based on one big lie.
    You have Torah and you have faith and therefore you believe that the rabbit rummages and that I am stupid.
    I once read to my child (when he was still small - today he is older than you) a book that began with the words "For me, everything is an upside down world".
    It was a joke book and we didn't know yet that it was actually a prophetic book that predicted you.

  10. Yinon,

    Applied scientific knowledge was reserved for many ancient peoples. The Greeks believed that the earth was round already 2,500 years ago, for example. It is indisputable that sages also took part of this information, but along with it they also took information that was wrong and based on superstitions. And so you find in them the claim that lice come from dirt and not from a mother.

    Regarding Rambam, it is better for you to know that he based his medical books on the Talmud as well, but also on philosophy and medical experiments from the culture of Greece, Egypt and other testimonies. If you look carefully at his monumental book 'Mishna Torah', you will be able to see that no halachic conclusions were drawn that stem from scientific assumptions made in the Shas, if these scientific assumptions did not correspond to the Rambam's scientific knowledge.

    And in simple words, Maimonides did not rely on the knowledge of sages or from the Talmud, unless science supported that knowledge. As Shaun Omer says, science and practical experience are stronger than the Talmud.

    By the way, if we're talking about Rambam, he was truly a great man, and it's a shame that parts of today's religious society have completely neglected his more important statements. You can find some of them in Wikipedia, such as -

    Maimonides, like many great Israelis, saw the ideal style of life as a combination of Torah life and work, of Torah with a craft. This is also how he saw his work as a doctor. Furthermore, in his books, he harshly criticized Torah scholars who relied on the public purse, who make the Torah "a thorn in the side" and said of them that they "extinguish the candle of religion and blaspheme the name of heaven." '

    or,
    Maimonides was also one of the few firsts who vigorously forbade receiving pleasure from the words of the Torah. The content of the prohibition is that a rabbi or talmid hacham must refrain from accepting any benefit in return for studying or teaching Torah. '

  11. Roy,
    Benjamin Franklin, the scientist and inventor, is the one on the hundred dollar bill...among his most thoughtful and useful inventions is the lightning rod: an iron rod that protects the house from lightning strikes by pulling the lightning from the house to it..
    The language of the Tosefta: "The one who gives a braza among the chicks is from the way of the Amorites... and if from the lightning it is permissible."
    it means that…:
    Barza = iron rod
    The ways of the Amorites = sorcery and superstitions which the Torah forbids
    It is forbidden to place an iron rod between the chicks as a superstition or witchcraft, but if the intention is to set them on fire from the lightning then it is allowed.. what will save them from the lightning?! The iron rod!
    Tosefta language.. 2000 years ago

  12. The Rambam learned medicine from Kabbalah, he knew the secrets of Kabbalah.... The Rambam all his life dealt with Torah and Kabbalah and from Miza he received all the science.. Everything is written, I can prove it, I will bring verses..

  13. Yinon,

    There are many answers to riddles in the world, and the Torah is just one of them. Another way to find answers is science, which in the meantime has proven itself well. Even great Torah geniuses, such as Maimonides, relied on the science that existed in their time. Maimonides studied the science of medicine, for example, and used it, among other things, to better interpret the Torah. But he did not force the scientist who studied the Torah.

    Why are you not ready to accept what was true for Rambam?

  14. Michael,
    I don't underestimate scientists, I just don't value them..
    I don't believe in the long-term predictions they make..which I know for sure according to the Torah and Judaism that it is not true.
    And do you know where this article is? Here on the site..
    So Michael, to me you are a dead man that I really do not relate to and I have come to the conclusion that you are ignorant and have nothing to learn from.. haha ​​yes I am small and you are big.. but your brain is too small =] you are weak..

  15. Yanon:
    When I see even an iota of sincerity and willingness to learn in your words - believe me - I have a lot to teach you.
    But there is no way that will happen. As a person who, without learning anything, allows himself to belittle scientists, it is clear that you do not have the openness necessary for a serious conversation, so I am simply trying to get rid of you.

  16. Michael,
    Until now no one has written me comments like you write in every forum after a survey on this site you bring mocking comments..go to sleep the writing part is not suitable for you..you don't have nice answers that I can say "Michael you taught me" you are trying to make me say Yanon, you made a mistake" instead of saying to myself, "Yanon, you learned something"
    Come up with your own answer don't analyze my answer!

    Shabbat Shalom =]

  17. Haha Michael.. you are cynical, be healthy because if you had read the rest of what I wrote.. then you would not have written such a reckless comment.. you are in a hurry to offend, you really like to give me contradictory answers.
    So, because you weren't tempted to read to the end, maybe because you don't have the patience, I'll bring you one sentence that won't be difficult for you =]

    "I'm not fooling to the end because most robots today help and sometimes save lives.."

    Try not to be hostile.. and don't get angry. Everyone makes mistakes..

  18. Yanon:
    I have a feeling that I agree with you, but that's exactly why I won't read your words to the end.
    I don't want to rely on a machine to do this.
    Please carve the things on a rock tablet and bring them to me properly written.

  19. Why do you think that the more advanced the technology, the more its damage becomes irreversible! What fantasies in a mother, everything is regret, the more you let these things do the work for you, the more pampered and the lazier you become...! I'm not completely fooled because most of the robots today help and sometimes save lives... but now is not the era of these "helping robots" The era of "the robots will make life easier and make it more fun" but you are not really aware of the significant damages of this technology.. like for example.. cell phones with a sea of ​​radiation that cooks your brain. There are many examples not only that.. I'm not saying don't develop I say develop correctly =]

  20. It looks very promising, in the near future we will start to see nano-robots that will do a wide variety of actions, I hope that everything will be put to good use.

  21. It seems that in another decade, the vision of nanorobots that locate and destroy cancer cells will become a reality

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