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Nano Roundup

May 8, 2009

Microscopic flying robots have uses in industry and medicine.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Tiny robots that fly. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

What flies and pinches and is about the size of a sand flea? I mean, aside from an actual sand flea. A new microrobot developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada. The devices levitate in a magnetic field and are controlled by a laser beam. Possible uses are manufacturing other tiny devices, handling biological samples and even performing microsurgery.

In other nanotechnology news, scientists at Rice University report in the journal Nature that they have found a way to unzip carbon nanotubes to create flat nanoribbons. The material is conductive and two hundred times stronger than steel. Possible applications include flat panel displays and solar cells. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.