Nanobots that Can Sense and Automatically Repair Circuits

Nanorobotics is one of the milestones in the recent technological advancements. It is set to prove itself as one of the most promising ‘miracle technologies’ in the coming future. However, the fundamental problem with such miniaturisation in the nanorobots is concerned with its programming. In the process of overcoming this problem, two researchers have invented nanobots that do wonders. Similar to the functioning of blood cells, Nanobots that can repair circuits all by themselves have been invented.

Two researchers, Joseph Wang of University of California, San Diego and Jennifer Balazs of the University of Pittsburgh have come together to create nanobots that share the functionality of blood platelets. These researchers have used the laws of physics to do all the programming.

These researchers have been inspired by the way natural biological system of human body functions. The way blood platelets acts immediately through clotting and repairing cuts has provided the key for Joseph and Jennifer. They have started working on creating nanobots that would work as self-healing circuitry system using the similar mechanism as that of blood platelets.

The researchers used spherical, bi-faced nanomotors made of gold and platinum. These are referred to as “Janus particles,” after the two-faced Roman god of doorways and (fittingly enough) the beginning of new undertakings.

These Janus particles are thousand times smaller than a pinhead. Each side of the particle exhibits different chemical behaviours with different properties. To test their process, the researchers created a simple circuit between a LED light and a battery and then broke the circuit with a tiny scratch.

The Janus particles were dissolved into a solution of hydrogen peroxide and poured onto the circuit. Hydrogen peroxide enables platinum half of the particles to react with it to produce oxygen. Which further propels the particles like mini-rockets.After about 30 minutes, the solution was removed and the battery switched on. Consequently, the LED was lit.

The researchers believe that the nanoparticles, propelled by the chemical reaction, swarmed over the break, where the gold half of the nanobots naturally “sensed” differing surface. There on the energies at the scratch settled into the gap and thereby repaired the circuit.

Though this experiment is small one it has unraveled the wide applicabilities nanobots possess.




Shobith MAKAM Written by: