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Korean researchers develop nanorobot propelled by moisture Updated: 2018-03-24 13:09:58 KST


What you're seeing is a mini robot crawling forward by wriggling and twisting its body like an inchworm.
Dubbed ''hygrobot,'' it was designed and developed by a team of reseachers at Seoul National University.
As its name indicates, hygrobot runs solely on water or the humidity in the air.

The team says the robot is made up of two layers of specialized nanofibers with opposite functions -- one that absorbs moisture and one that doesn't.
One surface swells when in contact with moisture causing the other side to shrink, and thus creating a bending motion in response to changes in humidity.
As this cycle continues, hygrobot moves forward.

(KOREAN)
"It's all thanks to the nanofibers. We would not have been able to create the robot's motions using paper or a sponge, because they absorb water at different speeds and in different directions. The nanofibers on the other hand, are designed to soak in water in same speed and swell to the fullest size."

At this stage, the robot can move at a speed of 6 milimeters per second.
And since it does not rely on an outside energy source for its power, it has more freedom to be used in areas with limited space.
Taking these conditions into account, researchers say the bots would be particularly useful in medicine and military-based industries.
The hygrobot is currently being tested for medical purposes for which the team says the the bot could deliver medicine to the human body just by using the skin's moisture.
Cho Sung-min, arirang news.
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