The cholera bacterium's 3-in-1 toolkit for life in the ocean

Bacteria are the most abundant form of life on Earth. The ocean is highly abundant with small particles and debris, some inert, some highly nutritious. But researchers want to know how bacteria differentiate between these ...

Big energy savings for tiny machines

Inside all of us are trillions of tiny molecular nanomachines that perform a variety of tasks necessary to keep us alive.

New nanomedicine slips through the cracks

In a recent study in mice, researchers found a way to deliver specific drugs to parts of the body that are exceptionally difficult to access. Their Y-shaped block catiomer (YBC) binds with certain therapeutic materials forming ...

Nanomachines taught to fight cancer

Scientists from ITMO in collaboration with international colleagues have proposed new DNA-based nanomachines that can be used for gene therapy for cancer. This new invention can greatly contribute to more effective and selective ...

Water found to be an ideal lubricant for nanomachines

Researchers from the University of Amsterdam have discovered that machines just one molecule in size move far quicker if you add a 'lubricant' to their surroundings. To their surprise, water proved to be the best lubricant ...

Molecular motors: Power much less than expected?

An innovative measurement method was used at the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw for estimating power generated by motors of single molecule in size, comprising a few dozens of ...

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Nanorobotics

Nanorobotics is the emerging technology field of creating machines or robots whose components are at or close to the microscopic scale of a nanometer (10−9 meters). More specifically, nanorobotics refers to the nanotechnology engineering discipline of designing and building nanorobots, with devices ranging in size from 0.1-10 micrometers and constructed of nanoscale or molecular components. The names nanobots, nanoids, nanites, nanomachines or nanomites have also been used to describe these devices currently under research and development.

Nanomachines are largely in the research-and-development phase, but some primitive molecular machines have been tested. An example is a sensor having a switch approximately 1.5 nanometers across, capable of counting specific molecules in a chemical sample. The first useful applications of nanomachines might be in medical technology, which could be used to identify and destroy cancer cells. Another potential application is the detection of toxic chemicals, and the measurement of their concentrations, in the environment. Recently, Rice University has demonstrated a single-molecule car developed by a chemical process and including buckyballs for wheels. It is actuated by controlling the environmental temperature and by positioning a scanning tunneling microscope tip.

Another definition is a robot that allows precision interactions with nanoscale objects, or can manipulate with nanoscale resolution. Such devices are more related to Microscopy or Scanning probe microscopy, instead of the description of nanorobots as molecular machine. Following the microscopy definition even a large apparatus such as an atomic force microscope can be considered a nanorobotic instrument when configured to perform nanomanipulation. For this perspective, macroscale robots or microrobots that can move with nanoscale precision can also be considered nanorobots.

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