In Massachusetts, a team of researchers managed to complete the experimentation on "liquibots", aquatic robots with extraordinary capabilities.
The Department of Energy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, led by experts from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has created something unusual and innovative.
these aquatic robots, just over two millimeters large, they are able to release chemicals by remaining semi-immersed in the solution. In this way, they are able to administer drugs to patients and perform automated chemical synthesis.
For medicine, this discovery may be more than extraordinary, proof that anything is still possible.
We have overcome a barrier in designing a liquid robotic system that can operate autonomously using chemistry to control the buoyancy of an objectTom Russell, professor of polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
The discovery of "liquibots"
Liquibot research is nothing new in the field of medicine.
For years, small aquatic robots have been undergoing experimentation. However, there had always been problems in previous studies. Some robots could only complete one task at a time, while others required electricity to keep running.
The new liquibots, on the other hand, do not require electricity because they gain their power chemically.
Specifically, robots feed on their own, moving around in the surrounding liquid solution and filling up with certain chemicals. This process generates a reaction in the liquibots that produces oxygen bubbles. The bubbles turn into "balloons", which drag the robots to the surface and help them download their content.
The video below shows how robots move in the liquid, so as to better clarify the explanation.
The information is obtained thanks to the presentation given to the magazine Nature chemistry.
The researchers also managed to solve the "single task" issue. Robots can do multiple jobs at the same time, depending on how they are set up.
Some react to specific types of gases in the environment, while others react to specific substances.
In the future?
The small liquibots could be used for therapeutic purposes, helping doctors in administering drugs and carrying out therapies. Within the next 10 years, we could be creating nanobots that move around our bodies and help us defeat all sorts of diseases.