NooTriX

Will Micro-Scale Robots Be Available Soon?

Will Micro-Scale Robots Be Available Soon?

Chip makers are struggling with miniaturization to keep pace with moore’s law. The cutting-edge technology is extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. While EUV is still being introduced into product lines, a killer technology is already born. Mashable reported this february 20th 2012 that an australian team from the Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) did figure out a repeatable technique to create a single-atom transistor using a scanning-tunneling microscope (STM). Video 1 shows an interview with the scientists that did achieve this breakthrough that for sure will revolutionize the way electronics are designed and used.

Video 1: Tiny Transistor by the CQC2T

By having a technology to build atom-scale transistors, chip makers will be able to build tiny chips for micro-scale robots. Building robots of such a small size is also a challenge. But, there are good news on this side too. In a news posted on february 17th, robots.net pointed Video 2 from the Harvard Micro-Robotics Lab on Mobee, a flapping-wing micro-drone. It shows a process for repeated fabrication of the bee-inspired robot.

Video 2: Fabrication of the Harvard Millimeter-Scale Drone

So, we have the building blocks for tiny yet powerful chips that can be carried by micro-robots. Still, we aren’t their yet.The most challenging missing part is energy. A millimeter-size¬† robot such as Mobee cannot carry a battery. At least not one that allows it to function for more than few minutes. Energy is an issue even for larger robots. Consider the Kilobot also from Harvard University but made by another team: the Self Organizing Systems Group. This is a terrestrial robot of about 33 mm diameter. As opposite to drones which consumes energy even if they stand still, most terrestrial robots including Kilobot consume energy only during locomotion. The Kilobot carries a battery that allows it operate for about 3 hours. Fine for lab experiments. But, we are still far for what would be required to send a robot out for a full day mission.

Video 3: Official Introduction to Kilobot

One possible solution is BetaVoltaic battery that may last 20+ years of continuous use! The basic idea discovered in the 1950’s is to surround a nuclear isotope with a semi-conductor. As the radioactive isotope decays, it emits electrons (beta particles) that are collected by the semi-conductor. Although it’s nuclear, these batteries are said to be harmless since they turn inert after running out of power. According to BatBatt that develops BetaVoltaic batteries, the technology delivers only low-current. It can however be paired with chemical batteries for delivering more power.

Related Articles

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

Latest Posts

    Affordable Virtually Indestructible Drones

Affordable Virtually Indestructible Drones

4 comments Read Full Article
    The First Voice Commanded Robotic Vacuum

The First Voice Commanded Robotic Vacuum

0 comment Read Full Article
    3 Game Changing Solutions to Recharge Your Smartphone without an Electric Outlet

3 Game Changing Solutions to Recharge Your Smartphone without an Electric Outlet

0 comment Read Full Article
    Starwars BB-8 Droid Working Miniature Version Awakens

Starwars BB-8 Droid Working Miniature Version Awakens

0 comment Read Full Article
    Meet Cozmo: A Playful Little Robot with Emotions

Meet Cozmo: A Playful Little Robot with Emotions

1 comment Read Full Article
    Wall-E Disney-Pixar Movie

Wall-E Disney-Pixar Movie

2 comments Read Full Article
    Game Console and Other Pets Care Automation Gadgets

Game Console and Other Pets Care Automation Gadgets

0 comment Read Full Article
    Solar Roads: The Next Green Electricity Power Plants?

Solar Roads: The Next Green Electricity Power Plants?

0 comment Read Full Article
    Turning Footsteps Energy into Green Electricity

Turning Footsteps Energy into Green Electricity

0 comment Read Full Article
    Warka Water: Collecting Water Out of Thin Air

Warka Water: Collecting Water Out of Thin Air

0 comment Read Full Article
    Will Boston Dynamics Make Domestic Robots?

Will Boston Dynamics Make Domestic Robots?

1 comment Read Full Article
    Will Your Next Robot Take Care of Folding Your Clothes?

Will Your Next Robot Take Care of Folding Your Clothes?

0 comment Read Full Article
    Machines Uprising: From Fun To Deep Thoughts

Machines Uprising: From Fun To Deep Thoughts

0 comment Read Full Article
    Grillbot Takes Care of the Chore of BBQ Grill Cleaning

Grillbot Takes Care of the Chore of BBQ Grill Cleaning

0 comment Read Full Article
    Roomba 980 vs Neato BotVac Connected: Review of the Two Best Robotic Vacuum Cleaners

Roomba 980 vs Neato BotVac Connected: Review of the Two Best Robotic Vacuum Cleaners

16 comments Read Full Article
    Neato Botvac Connected: The First Vacuum Robot Controlled from a Smartwatch

Neato Botvac Connected: The First Vacuum Robot Controlled from a Smartwatch

2 comments Read Full Article
    Best Wireless All-In-One Inkjet Printers with Scanner and Copier

Best Wireless All-In-One Inkjet Printers with Scanner and Copier

1 comment Read Full Article
    Drone Racing League Level 1: Miami Lights  Semi Finals

Drone Racing League Level 1: Miami Lights Semi Finals

1 comment Read Full Article
    Vacuum Robot Love Story Commercial

Vacuum Robot Love Story Commercial

0 comment Read Full Article
    Drone Racing League 2016 Season Debuts on February 22nd

Drone Racing League 2016 Season Debuts on February 22nd

0 comment Read Full Article

More Posts