Scientists Created Tiny Self-Powered Swimming Robots Powered by Oil and Water

Stoyan Smoukov of Queen Mary University of London noted that “In biology, research shows that to create even the simplest artificial cells we need over 470 genes.” However, he and his international team has created a new type of artificial microswimmer with only 3 simple ingredients: oil, water, and detergent-like substance.

The microswimmer droplets are able to use fluctuating changes in their surrounding environment to store energy and to use that energy to swim. When cooled, the droplets release a thin tail-like filament into the surrounding environment. The friction generated between the tails and the fluid pushes the microswimmers to move. When heated, the droplets retract their tails to their original state and harness the heat to recharge.

The researchers were able to show that the droplets could recharge multiple times and swim for a period of up to 12 minutes each time.

#robot #oil #water #flagella #microswimmer #biology #swim

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