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Nanorobotics: An Emerging Field of Nanotechnology

BY: Muniba Safdar | Category: Nanotechnology | Submitted: 2011-03-09 18:10:55
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Article Summary: "What is Nanorobotics? It is an emerging application of nanotechnology that deals with the creation of robots or machines. The size of machines and robots are designed at or close to the scale of nanometer. Nano-robotics specifically refers to the use of nanotechnology engineering in order to build or design nano-robots or variou.."


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Nanorobotics is an emerging application of nanotechnology (is the branch of engineering that deals with things smaller than 100 nanometers (especially with the manipulation of individual molecules)) that deals with the creation of robots or machines. The size of machines and robots are designed at or close to the scale of nanometer. Nanorobotics specifically refers to the use of nanotechnology engineering in order to build or design nano-robots or various other machines. The range of these devices would be in size from 0.1-10 micrometers. Some of the other devices have been currently under research and development area. These devices are named as;

• Nano-machines (also called a nanite, is a mechanical or electromechanical device whose measurements are measured in nanometers)

• Nano-bots (are extremely tiny robots, down at a microscopic scale)

• Nanites (also known as a nano-bot, nano-machine, or other similar variations of the preface, is a machine designed on a very small scale)

• Nanoids (are microscopic machines that were adapted for cellular regeneration. They analyze and mimic biological structures such as bone, tissue and hair)

• Nano-mites (or nanites are extremely microscopic robot forms usually measuring in the improbable scale of nanometers)

The above mentioned devices are recently used in research and development phase. There is an example of nano-machine called a sensor (is any device that receives a signal or stimulus (as heat or pressure or light or motion etc) and responds to it in a distinctive manner) which is constructed approximately at 1.5 nanometers scale. The main purpose of this device is to count specific molecule in a chemical sample. Nano-machines could be used to detect and destroy cancer cells. Another use of nano-machine is the identification of toxic chemicals and their concentration in the environment.

There is another definition of a robot that is interacted with nanoscale objects and can be controlled with nanoscale resolution. Nano-robotics ultimately refers to Microscopy or scanning probe microscopy (is a branch of microscopy that forms images of surfaces using a physical probe that scans the specimen or research with the use of microscopes). They are not as much related to molecular-machines (or nano-machine, is defined as a distinct number of molecular components which accomplish mechanical-like movements (output) in response to definite stimuli (input)) as they are related microscopically.

When we talk about a large apparatus, for example, an atomic force microscope or scanning force microscopy (is a very high-resolution type of scanning probe microscopy, with demonstrated resolution on the order of fractions of a nanometer, more than 1000 times better than the optical diffraction limit) nanorobotic devices are considered to perform nano-manipulation by following the definition of microscopy.

Furthermore, it is necessary to work together with such a small sized nano-robots in order to perform macroscopic and microscopic tasks. As we know that working with such a micro-sized device is very complicated task but it would possibly be easy when we have large number of nano-robots. Nanorobotics includes various particular designs that have been existed in the field of medicine or in the context of nano-medicine (is an application of nanotechnology that ranges from the medical applications of nanomaterials to nano-electronics biosensor). These designs include;

• Sensing
• Power communication
• Navigation
• Manipulation
• Locomotion (self-propelled movement)
• On-board computation

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