MIT researchers have invented the tinniest robots yet that can store data, sense their environment, and even perform computational errands, crafting the path for ingestible tools for health monitoring. The gadgets, which are almost the size of a human egg cell, comprise of small electronic circuits composed of 2D substances attached on colloids (minuscule particles).
Colloids, which are insoluble molecules or particles anywhere in the dimension from a millionth to a billionth of a meter across, are so tiny that they can remain suspended indefinitely in an air or even in liquid.
By pairing these small objects to complicated circuitry, scientists expect to lay the foundation for gadgets that can be distributed to conduct diagnostic journeys via anything from gas & oil pipelines to the human digestive system. It can be perhaps used to waft via air to calculate compounds within a chemical refinery or processor.
“We wished to understand techniques to graft intact & complete electronic circuits attached to colloidal particles,” claimed a professor in the US at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Michael Strano, to the media in an interview.
“Colloids can travel and access environments in ways that other substances cannot,” Strano claimed. For example, dust particles can float indefinitely in the air due to the fact that they are sufficiently small that the random motions passed on by colliding air molecules are sturdier than the gravity pull. In the same way, colloids will never settle out that are suspended in liquid.
On a related note, earlier scientists at MIT had designed a molecular clock on a processor that can one day considerably enhance the performance and accuracy of navigation on user devices such as smartphones. To monitor time, the molecular clock employs the measurable & constant rotation of molecules when exposed to a specific frequency of electromagnetic radiation, as per a survey posted in Nature Electronics journal.