Summary: Chinese researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) have developed tiny humanoid microrobots that “dance” using a two-in-one multi-material laser writing strategy. The robots have movable joints created from temperature-sensitive hydrogels and metal nanoparticles. This technique could have potential applications in micro sensors, artificial muscles, wearable devices, and more.
Researchers at the USTC have unveiled a groundbreaking method utilizing femtosecond lasers to create micromachined joints in robots. These tiny robots, inspired by the flexible joints of humans, demonstrate a “dance-like” motion thanks to their movable joints. The team, led by Prof. Wu Dong, developed a two-in-one multi-material laser writing strategy that combines temperature-sensitive hydrogels and metal nanoparticles to create the joints.
Femtosecond lasers, used in this research, are pulsed lasers that emit short, intermittent bursts of light. They have the shortest pulse width, measuring just one quadrillionth of a second. Unlike continuous wave lasers, femtosecond lasers instantly remove material upon irradiation.
The potential applications of this technology are vast. The developed technique could be used to create micro sensors with precise movements, artificial muscles that mimic human motion, and wearable devices that provide flexible joints. Additionally, this research opens doors to various other applications in the fields of healthcare, robotics, and more.
This breakthrough in microrobotics showcases the incredible advancements being made in the field of robotics. The ability to create tiny robots with movable joints paves the way for innovative solutions in various industries, from healthcare to consumer electronics. The team at USTC has certainly made a remarkable contribution to the future of robotics with their “dancing” microrobots.
– University of Science and Technology of China (USTC)
– Chinese Academy of Science
– Prof. Wu Dong