ISNA: Nature is a great source of inspiration, and nanotechnology is an exciting way to apply its lessons, and now a first-of-its-kind lizard robot could one day help doctors perform surgeries.
According to AI, a small robot called GeiwBot, which could one day help doctors perform surgery, was inspired by the incredible ability of geckos (a type of lizard) to stick and walk on different surfaces and the efficient movement of worms.
This new robot, developed by engineers at the University of Waterloo, can move on any surface, even on walls and ceilings, using ultraviolet light and magnetic force technologies.
Better yet, this robot is the first of its kind to operate without an external power source, allowing for remote control and versatility in hard-to-reach areas.
GeiwBot soft robot in healthcare
"This is the first time a holistic soft robot has climbed on inverted surfaces, advancing advanced innovations in soft robotics," Dr. Baxin Zhao, professor of chemical engineering at the University of Waterloo, said in a press release.
He added: We are optimistic about its potential with the ability to develop much more in several different areas.
The robot, called GeiwBot, is made of a smart material that can be molecularly altered to behave like the way geckos' foot pegs attach and release.
This behavior allows this four-centimeter, three-millimeter-wide and one-millimeter-thick robot to climb a vertical wall and move on a ceiling without needing to be connected to a power source.
Zhao and his team built GeiwBot using artificial adhesive pads and liquid crystal elastomers. Essentially, a light-reactive polymer strip simulates a worm-like arcing action. On the other hand, gecko-inspired magnetic pads on both ends do the sticking.
Although there are still limitations, this development represents an important milestone for the use of biomimicry and smart materials for soft robots, Zhao said.
He added: Nature is a great source of inspiration and nanotechnology is an exciting way to apply its lessons.
A soft robot without the need to connect to a power source significantly opens the way for possible surgical applications through remote control inside the human body. It can also help to identify or search dangerous or inaccessible areas during rescue operations.
The next step for researchers is to create a soft robot that is powered entirely by light and does not require a magnetic field. In addition, future robots will use near-infrared light instead of infrared light to increase biocompatibility.
This study was published in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science.