d.assange at ugrad.unimelb.edu.au
Tue Oct 11 14:14:53 UTC 2005
New Scientist also has an article on this, and links a site
-- Daniel Assange <d.assange at ugrad.unimelb.edu.au>
"The way to enlightenment is not to admit that
you know nothing, but to admit that you
can never know enough."
On Tue, 11 Oct 2005, Olga Bourlin wrote:
> From: "Henrique Moraes Machado" <hemm at openlink.com.br>
> > Hello,
> > Can you copy the text? NY Times requires registration to read
> >> http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/11/science/11FIND.html
> Here you go ...
> October 11, 2005
> At Dartmouth, a Remote-Controlled Robot
> By KENNETH CHANG
> For a steerable piece of dust, look somewhere at Dartmouth College.
> Researchers there have built what they say is the world's smallest
> untethered, controllable robot. When placed on a penny, it looks like a mole
> on the side of Lincoln's chin, measuring a hundredth of an inch by one
> four-hundredth of an inch.
> A traffic jam of 200 of them would stretch the length of an M&M.
> The robot contains no motors or circuitry. Rather, it is a carefully carved
> piece of silicon that moves across a special surface that contains an
> embedded electrical grid. The main rectangular piece has one edge bent
> downward; from the side, it looks like an L that has toppled forward.
> "You can think of it as a business card with a fold at the end," said Bruce
> R. Donald, a professor of computer science and leader of the research team.
> When an electrical voltage is applied, the silicon buckles, and the long leg
> of the L is pulled down against the surface. When an opposite voltage is
> applied, the silicon rectangle pops back and pushes the robot forward. "It
> crawls along like an inchworm," Dr. Donald said.
> An article describing the microrobot will appear in The Journal of
> Microelectromechanical Systems. At top speed, the robot zooms around at
> nearly a hundredth of an inch a second.
> To turn the robot, a stronger voltage pulse lowers an arm extending off one
> side of the rectangle. At the end of the arm is what looks like a tiny
> lollipop with a pointy thorn at the center. The lollipop snags the surface,
> and the robot runs in circles around it. Another pulse lifts the arm, and
> the robot heads straight again.
> Dr. Donald said more sophisticated versions of such robots might one day be
> used to inspect or fix chips or interact with individual cells.
> Robots of different shapes could snap together to build larger structures,
> he said.
> a.. Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
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