A team of engineering researchers has made a fundamental advance in controlling so-called soft robots, using magnetic fields to remotely manipulate microparticle chains embedded in soft robotic devices.
Engineers have designed a microfluidic device they call a 'tree-on-a-chip', which mimics the pumping mechanism of trees and plants. Like its natural counterparts, the chip operates passively, requiring no moving parts or external pumps. It is able to pump water and sugars through the chip at a steady flow rate for several days.
Researchers have been developing a class of walking 'bio-bots' powered by muscle cells and controlled with electrical and optical pulses. Now, they are sharing the recipe for the current generation of bio-bots.
A team of engineers and scientists have developed an artificial skin capable of detecting temperature changes using a mechanism similar to the one used by the organ that allows pit vipers to sense their prey.
Underwater robots offer scientists an extraordinary new tool to study ocean currents and the tiny creatures they transport. Swarms of these underwater robots helped answer some basic questions about the most abundant life forms in the ocean - plankton.