|Lord of the dance
||[30 May 2001|05:54am]
Meet the tiny robot that can bounce, walk and run, and could one day be
studying your DNA
It may look like a line-dancing bar stool--but scientists at MIT reckon their
nanowalker will make even Michael Flatley look flat-footed. Their agile robot
can take 4000 steps per second. It can tiptoe along in 4-nanometre steps or
stride around at up to 20 centimetres per second.
The three-legged, 3-centimetre-tall walker is the brainchild of Sylvain Martel
at MIT's Bio-Instrumentation Laboratory. Martel wants swarms of nanowalkers to
act as precision tools to manipulate individual atoms or molecules to build
nanomachines. "You can use this for manipulating atoms, changing molecules,
developing new materials or studying DNA," says Martel.