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CMU researchers control microbots with mini magnets

Darren Murph

Pardon the alliteration, but we're excited about the proposition here. For years -- millenniums, even -- scientists have been trying to figure out how to manipulate minuscule devices with magnets, and at long last, we've got a breakthrough in the field. Metin Sitti, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, is credited with creating a new control technique that could allow microscopic machines to "one day deliver drugs directly to a sickly cell or a tumor." Essentially, the diminutive bots glide across a glass surface covered with a grid of metal electrodes, and you're just a click away (it's the Read link, just so you know) from seeing a live demonstration on how they can be used to "anchor one or more microbots while allowing others to continue to move freely around the surface." Good times.

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