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Bye batteries? Tiny robots from South Korea run on humidity

/ 06:21 PM January 29, 2018

The idea of smarter and faster robots replacing humans may seem like science fiction nightmare, but the concept has slowly made its existence and mark known in the field of medical technology — and it’s not leaving anytime soon. As much as it is easy to visualize in fear artificially intelligent humanoid robots that will eventually betray and destroy the human race, such worries are far-reaching and should be put to rest.

A team of researchers at the Seoul National University in South Korea has invented tiny robots that can run sans batteries, Engadget reported last Jan. 26. It’s a hopeful project that aims to aid in delivering drugs to human skin in the future. The study was just published last week and can be read in full in the journal Science Robotics.


The creation of the tiny robots called hygrobots were inspired by the Pelargonium carnosum plant, whose seeds can screw themselves into the ground, as well as the pine cone, which opens and closes depending on humidity.

Image: Science Robots Journal/Shin et. al

The nano fiber hygrobot wriggled and crawled like a worm when it came in contact with moisture, but as it dried back to its original state, moved in the opposite direction. As a demonstration, the researchers filled the hygrobots with an antibiotic, and was made to move across a Petri dish.


The robots will prove to be a breakthrough in the medical world. In the future, the researchers hope that the hygrobots can deliver drugs to the human body just by using the skin’s moisture, the first ever of its kind. Cody Cepeda/JB


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TAGS: Artificial Intelligence, hygrobots, Robots, Seoul, South Korea
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