Microscopic Robot Fish? Yes, You Heard Us Right…

07/09/2015
From the robotic hotel to robots reproducing, we've been feeling a definite theme for all things made of metal and fitted with a makeshift mechanical mind.

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So, when we heard about microscopic robot fish, we could hardly wait to share it with you. The big question being, of course, what exactly are these creatures – and why are scientists and engineers creating them?

Well, these tiny little swimmers are being touted as the next invention which could actually change the future of medicine, and they do it by swimming through the blood stream. They're being called fish because – you guessed it – like many things in the engineering world, they've been modelled after nature's fine creations. In fact, the scientists behind the idea tried out manta ray and shark designs before settling on the humble fish.

These medical miracles are incredibly small – in fact, you could fit 16 of them inside a single grain of sand! Being so tiny means that they can slip through the blood stream, delivering much needed medicines across the body. So how do they do it? Well, here's the technical bit: they're powered by magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles in the head, with platinum nanoparticles in the tail. This gives control over their swimming speed and direction.

And here's the twist in the tail (pun intended): These fish are made using a 3D printer. This means that their production is both relatively cheap and incredibly fast, and it takes just seconds to create a large number. This means that it's more than just a great idea – it could also be a very practical one!

We're certainly excited, since these robo fish combine two of our favourite things: robotics, and engineering feats which have been inspired by Mother Nature. After all, robotics increasingly seem to represent the future of our world, while taking designs from nature shows the innovation of scientists who are constantly on the lookout for inspiration.

As high quality compression spring manufacturers, and suppliers of many other kinds of springs, we like to keep an eye on the wider world of engineering and bring all of the most interesting news straight to you. While you're waiting for the next great story, feel free to browse our site – we can provide a great variety of springs as well as many other products to help you with your own engineering projects. For more information just get in touch today, online or at 0208 663 1800.

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