JUN 12, 2015 6:14 PM PDT

This Micro Robotic Tentacle is Delicate to the Touch and Precise Enough to Grab an Ant

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Exciting news in the realm of miniature robotics is about to get a lot of attention from the medical industry. No longer will grabbing at incredibly small and fragile things and moving them out of the way be an issue in surgical procedures.

Scientists from Iowa State University have developed a new micro-robotic ‘tentacle' that is capable of grabbing a humble ant without doing any damage to the ant's body.

This little lassoing tool is about as small as a human hair, but fully robotic.

This is a big step up in engineering. Ants are very small and delicate, so having something capable of safely extracting the ant could be very useful in medical operations. Moreover, the new micro-robotic tentacles are also capable of grabbing fish eggs, which are also very fragile and have been known to burst when carefully handled with tweezers.

What makes these micro-robotic tentacles better than modern robotics is that they're soft and incredibly versatile, unlike modern robots, which are hard, large, and difficult to maneuver.

As noted by a study published in Scientific Reports, the arm is incredibly small, made of nanotubes at around just 185 μm thick, but all while having a grabbing force capable of around 0.78 mN. The micro-robotic tentacle wraps around whatever the user is trying to pick up and has such a light touch that it doesn't damage what it picks up in the process.

The small size, combined with the soft nanotubes and maneuverability give this new study some advantages for incredibly small items that are otherwise considered to be fragile.

Scientists behind the project say that the new grabbing technology could be useful in the future for surgeries involving incredibly thin blood vessels where the goal will be to move them out of the way without damaging them to get to what is hidden under them.

At this point in time, the project is still very much in testing, but it definitely has the potential to be very useful for smaller operations.

Source: TechRadar

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
SEP 02, 2021
Cancer
When Cholesterol Doesn't Kill Cancer, it Makes it Stronger!
SEP 02, 2021
When Cholesterol Doesn't Kill Cancer, it Makes it Stronger!
High cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer, and cancer patients with high choleste ...
SEP 06, 2021
Microbiology
Imbokodo Trial Shows HIV Vaccine Candidate Isn't Effective Enough
SEP 06, 2021
Imbokodo Trial Shows HIV Vaccine Candidate Isn't Effective Enough
HIV vaccines have remained elusive in part because the virus has a powerful ability to mutate, and there are so many str ...
SEP 07, 2021
Immunology
Designer Cells for Treating Arthritis Are Activated by Inflammation
SEP 07, 2021
Designer Cells for Treating Arthritis Are Activated by Inflammation
Scientists have developed a new cell therapy for arthritis that becomes activated in the presence of inflammation. When ...
SEP 08, 2021
Plants & Animals
Are the skeletons of macaque hybrids distinct?
SEP 08, 2021
Are the skeletons of macaque hybrids distinct?
New research sheds insight into the evolution of the human pelvis by using macaque hybrid models.
SEP 10, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Wildfire Effects on Air Quality
SEP 10, 2021
Wildfire Effects on Air Quality
Wildfires are becoming a common occurrence in the Western US, and wildfires are expected to increase in severity and num ...
SEP 12, 2021
Coronavirus
Real-World, Post-Delta COVID-19 Vaccine Data & Potential Treatment
SEP 12, 2021
Real-World, Post-Delta COVID-19 Vaccine Data & Potential Treatment
New research may have identified a potential treatment or preventive medication for SARS-CoV-2 and other viral infection ...
Loading Comments...