Lasers Assemble Miniature Robots from Bubbles
Robots are widely used to build cars, paint airplanes, and other big manufacturing and assembly roles in factories. But the assembly of microscopic components requires much more intricate automation, and new research suggests that lasers could be the solution. Now, researchers from China reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces have used lasers to create miniature robots from bubbles that lift, drop, and manipulate small pieces into interconnected structures. Different types of parts are assembled to form various structures like gears, snake-shaped chains, and vehicles, which are then driven by bubble microrobots to perform different forms of movement. The researchers say this assembly technology is simple and efficient and is expected to play an important role in micro-operation, modular assembly, and tissue engineering.