Scientists have created a micron-sized memory actuators that allow atomically sized 2D materials to fold into 3D. How so? Through a quick voltage jolt!
To demonstrate this capability, scientists created the world’s smallest-self folding origami bird.
"We want to have robots that are microscopic but have brains on board. So that means you need to have appendages that are driven by complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) transistors, basically a computer chip on a robot that's 100 microns on a side," says Itai Cohen, professor of physics.
"The hard part is making the materials that respond to the CMOS circuits," Cohen said. "And this is what Qingkun and his colleagues have done with this shape memory actuator that you can drive with voltage and make it hold a bent shape."
Findings were reported in the paper "Micrometer-sized electrically programmable shape memory actuators for low-power microrobotics," and published in Science Robotics.
Source: Science Daily