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
DEC 22, 2020
Immunology
Is Too Much Tofu Elevating Your COVID Risk?
DEC 22, 2020
Is Too Much Tofu Elevating Your COVID Risk?
A study by researchers at the University of Michigan has found that high levels of cadmium — a heavy metal found i ...
DEC 23, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Smartphone Device Uses CRISPR to Check for COVID
DEC 23, 2020
Smartphone Device Uses CRISPR to Check for COVID
Quick, portable, and ultrasensitive—a new smartphone test for COVID-19 checks all the boxes needed to get a handle ...
DEC 28, 2020
Neuroscience
Prenatal Metal Exposure Has Long Term Health Consequences
DEC 28, 2020
Prenatal Metal Exposure Has Long Term Health Consequences
Researchers from Rutgers University have found that prenatal exposure to metals, including lead, arsenic, cobalt, and ni ...
DEC 30, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Llama Antibody Prevents Infection by COVID-19
DEC 30, 2020
Llama Antibody Prevents Infection by COVID-19
There's more to llamas than being livestock and hilarious companion animals. They also harbor an immune system capab ...
DEC 31, 2020
Immunology
Arthritis Medication Resolves Previously Untreatable Skin Condition
DEC 31, 2020
Arthritis Medication Resolves Previously Untreatable Skin Condition
Bumpy, inflamed, ring-shaped lesions on the skin—granuloma annulare (GA) is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition ...
JAN 04, 2021
Cannabis Sciences
How Does Cannabis Affect the Liver?
JAN 04, 2021
How Does Cannabis Affect the Liver?
As research on cannabis emerges, what we know about how it interacts with the liver is becoming more and more complex. A ...
Loading Comments...