Saturday, June 6, 2009

Flying,' tiny gripper robots hover around on magnetic fields

\'Flying,\' tiny gripper robots hover around on magnetic fields

Man, flying cars and now flying robots? Maybe we really are living in the future.

A team led by Mir Behrad Khamesee at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada is using an array of electromagnets to levitate micro-robots weighing under a gram in a controlled manner. "We develop a focal point of a magnetic field in space, which the microrobot hangs on," Khamesee told ZDNet. "By changing the location of the focal point (through current control in several coils), the micro-robot is consequently moved." The micro-bots are equipped with tiny gripper arms, and are monitored by laser sensors and a camera so that the magnetic field will automatically adjust to the weight of whatever they pick up, and keep them hovering.

Tiny, hovering gripper-bots have limitless medical applications, but could also help out with things like production and space exploration

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