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 ...

Scientists build working model of life's engine

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers at the University of Southern California have built a theoretical working model of the cellular engine that powers all life.

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 ...

New molecular robot can be programmed to follow instructions

Scientists have developed a programmable "molecular robot" -- a sub-microscopic molecular machine made of synthetic DNA that moves between track locations separated by 6nm. The robot, a short strand of DNA, follows instructions ...

Raising the prospects for quantum levitation

More than half-a-century ago, the Dutch theoretical physicist Hendrik Casimir calculated that two mirrors placed facing each other in a vacuum would attract. The mysterious force arises from the energy of virtual particles ...

A fantastic voyage brought to life

Ever since the 1966 Hollywood movie, doctors have imagined a real-life Fantastic Voyage -- a medical vehicle shrunk small enough to "submarine" in and fix faulty cells in the body. Thanks to new research by Tel Aviv University ...

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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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