Sunday, October 23, 2005

Nano Robots for Nano Manufacturing

Nanorobot fabrication makes ultrasmall sensors possible

Researchers working with the Office of Naval Research (ONR) have developed a way to build extremely small sensors using nanorobot fabrication.
This new process, created by Harold Szu and James Buss of ONR and implemented by Xi Ning of Michigan State University, allows a human operator using a powerful microscope and hand-held controller to manipulate nano-sized contact points remotely--like using extremely small hands--to construct the pixel elements that will form the heart of the sensor. Each pixel will be composed of carbon nanotubes, which have nanoscale diameters and submicron lengths.

To improve the ability of carrier strike groups to detect missiles over the horizon, the U.S. Navy is searching for ways to augment its surveillance capabilities with a covert team of mini-UAVs equipped with passive sensors that can cruise near the ocean surface at slow speeds for many hours.
Unfortunately, a mini-UAV's payload limitation does not allow such a bulky technology on board--but a small UAV is possible with the advent of nano-based sensors.

"This new technology will revolutionize how sensors, cameras, and countless other medical devices will be made by a nanorobot, which can respond to public demands of non-contact examinations for early cancer screening at every household," said Father Giofranco Basti of the Pontifical Lateran University at the Vatican City, Rome, Italy. Next spring, the university will conduct a screening test bed of early breast tumor treatment using this new technology in collaboration with ONR.

Guarding giants with tiny protectors


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