MIT researchers

Until now we haven’t heard about robots could be as small as the size of human cells, but some MIT researchers created what may be known as the smallest robots in Human history so far. These robots are small enough to float indefinitely in the air, they can also sense their environment, store data, and able to do computational tasks. It is about the size of human egg cells which comprises of tiny electronic circuits made up of a 2D material called colloids.

Colloids are insoluble particles which are adjustable to other environments and can travel in various ways that other material can’t. Apart from this, tiny robots are incorporated with photodiode semiconductors which means they are self-powered and doesn’t need an external power source or internal batteries. The photodiode used mainly to convert light into a small electric charge which is enough to carry out computational activities and to let them sense information about the environment.

“The researchers hope to lay the groundwork for devices that could be dispersed to carry out diagnostic journeys through anything from the human digestive system to oil and gas pipelines, or perhaps to waft through the air to measure compounds inside a chemical processor or refinery,” said MIT.

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As these devices are small enough and can move with a random motion, stronger than the gravitational pull so it never settles in liquids. MIT researchers could send them to harsh places to monitor circumstances where it’s difficult to reach, such as oil and gas industry. But currently, they planned to send it for checking leaks or other issues in the pipeline or for the inspection of the human body.

Such devices are placed at one end of the pipeline which moves with the flow and then picked up from the other end, provided with the data the robot has encountered through all its way and ultimately indicates towards the affected area, further leads to analyzing the process.