Sure, there are a lot of different elements that make human beings special, but if we are being honest, none have proven themselves to be as significant as our tendency to pursue constant progression. You see, when a person is growing under all possible situations, they eventually become eligible to achieve some notable milestones along the way. This is reflected well in everything we have achieved so far, with our most prized milestone coming in the form of a creation called technology. Technology’s emergence, in particular, deserves a shoutout for reasons that don’t just concern its unprecedented skill-set. Instead, they also revolve a great deal around the manner in which the creation used those skills to impact our entire spectrum, including the highly-critical sector of healthcare. The foray into healthcare was a major moment in technology’s journey, as the success it found here was really what convinced the masses about its reliability. Soon enough, the creation was pretty much running the whole show, and yet it will still continue to scale things up in one capacity or the other. The same dynamic was put on full display by a recent development.
The researching at University of California Los Angeles has successfully developed meta-bots, which are predicated upon introducing automated medical procedures such as self-steering endoscopes or drug delivery robots that can navigate to specific regions in the body. According to certain reports, these meta-bots boast a size no bigger than a fingernail, but this small size doesn’t really pose any problem for them in terms of moving, sensing, and navigating their environment. Now, while the stated development is not quite our first step towards having robotics in healthcare, it does bring a sense of convenience that the concept never offered before. We say so because, unlike all the previous iterations, the new meta-robots are ready for use as soon as they emerge from the 3D printer. Containing piezoelectric actuators that can respond to or generate electricity, the technology only requires a battery to get up and running. Another important feature of the printed structure talks to an assortment of sensory components that are there to help meta-robots in making their own decision.
“We envision that this design and printing methodology of smart robotic materials will help realize a class of autonomous materials that could replace the current complex assembly process for making a robot,” said Xiaoyu Zheng, one of the creators of the new bots. “With complex motions, multiple modes of sensing and programmable decision-making abilities all tightly integrated, it’s similar to a biological system with the nerves, bones and tendons working in tandem to execute controlled motions.”