A team of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology has used complex computational models to design swimming micro-robots that carry cargo and navigate in response to stimuli such as light.

The simple micro-swimmers could rely on volume changes in unique materials known as hydrogels to move tiny flaps that will propel the robots.

The technology consists of a responsive gel body about ten microns long, with two propulsive flaps attached to opposite sides. A steering flap sensitive to specific stimuli would be located at the front of the swimmer.


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