Tiny Swimming Robots Could Be Modeled After Spiral-shaped Bacteria

Spiroplasma is a type of spiral-shaped bacteria that travels in a corkscrew type motion.  It accomplishes this motion by sending kinks down the spiral of its cell structure.  And, it turns out this method of propulsion is very efficient.  Essentially, it is using its entire body as a propulsion unit.  This may prove to be a great method for nano-sized robots to get around in a fluid. 

Applications for this tiny machine come mainly in the field of medicine.  Small robots could deliver medicine directly to a targeted cell or perform very precise surgeries.  Some micro-robots have already been developed for this purpose, but these little bots could be much smaller.  Read more about this possible development in the article below.  Also, check out the full-sized animation on the site by clicking on the thumbnail below.


        Credit:  University of Connecticut

… design. The kinky motion of a primitive spiral-shaped bacterium in fluid could help design efficient swimming micro-robots of the future, according to a study by a team of UConn researchers. Professors Greg Huber and Charles Wolgemuth of the Richard …

Swimming Bacteria Could Become Model for Micromachines
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Mon, 21 Dec 2009 13:48:52 GMT