Wireless Robot in Water to Make Water Clean and Moves Cells for Analysis
Published by : Industrial Automation
Wireless robot in water or aquatic robot is used to clean the water along with the movement of cells for analysis in diagnostic devices. Inspired by a coral polyp, this plastic wireless robot moves by magnetism and light.
For instance – “Eindhoven University of Technology (EUT) Researchers designed and developed a plastic water robot, made of responsive polymers, which moves under the influence of light and magnetism. In the future, this 'wireless aquatic polyp' should be able to attract and capture contaminant particles from the surrounding liquid or pick up and transport cells for analysis in diagnostic devices. The researchers published their results in the journal PNAS.
These water robots are primarily inspired by a coral polyp; a small soft creature with tentacles, which makes up the corals in the ocean. The stem of the living polyps makes a specific movement that creates a current which attracts food particles. Subsequently, the tentacles grab the food particles floating by.
The wireless artificial polyp is 1 by 1 cm, has a stem that reacts to magnetism, and light steered tentacles. Combining two different stimuli is rare since it requires delicate material preparation and assembly, but it is interesting for creating untethered robots because it allows for complex shape changes and tasks to be performed. The tentacles move by shining light on them. Different wavelengths lead to different results. For instance, the tentacles 'grab' under the influence of UV light, while they 'release' with blue light.
Scope of the wireless robot from land to water
In 2020, various devices are presented to grab and release objects underwater, which is a new feature of the light-guided package delivery robot the researchers offered to the users. This land-based robot couldn't work underwater, as the polymers making up that robot act through photothermal effects. The heat generated by the light fueled the robot, instead of the light itself.
“Heat dissipates in water, which makes it impossible to steer the robot underwater. Moreover, the development of a photomechanical polymer material that moves under the influence of light only, Not heat.”
Next to operating underwater, this new material can hold its deformation after being activated by light. While the photothermal material immediately returns to its original shape after the stimuli have been removed, the molecules in the photomechanical material actually take on a new state. This allows different stable shapes, to be maintained for a longer period of time. That helps to control the gripper arm; once something has been captured, the robot can keep holding it until it is addressed by light once again to release it.