«Engineers at the University of California Los Angeles have developed “meta-bots,” which are fingernail sized robots that can move, sense, and navigate their environment. Strikingly, the robots are essentially ready for use when they emerge from the 3D printer, and consist of piezoelectric actuators that can respond to or generate electricity. The robots consist of an intricate structure of piezoelectric components that allow them to rapidly flex and rotate. The researchers hope that the technology will lead to a variety of medical robotics, such as self-steering endoscopes or drug delivery robots that can navigate to specific regions in the body.» 

«The potential for miniature robots in the medical field is enormous, from tiny surgical robots to drug delivery bots and everything in between. While it seems that every other week someone develops another tiny robot with medical potential, few robots can get to work after just one 3D printing session. Typically, most small robots (or large robots for that matter) require a series of complex manufacturing steps to assemble various tiny components. This is not just fiddly, but greatly increases the complexity and size of the resulting device and the expense involved.»

Article written by Conn Hastings.