While so many scientists spend their time trying to create nanobots the size of bacteria, researcher at the NanoRobotics Laboratory of the École Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada, decided to simply take direct control of live bacteria. By using a computer-controlled magnetic field, the researchers turned the bacteria into fully-compliant biological nanorobots.
The trick was using a type of microbe known as magnetotactic bacteria. These critters have little internal compasses, and will follow the pull of a magnetic field. By manipulating a magnetic field, the researchers tricked the bacteria into forming a giant, computer-controlled swarm. In one experiment, the researchers had the bacterial swarm assemble a small pyramid. In another, they directed bacteria through the blood stream of a rat, like in Innerspace.
In the future, the researchers want to use the bacteria as a propulsion system for larger nanorobots that could deliver drugs, repair an organ, or assemble larger and more complex nanostructures.
But, as I mention with every video, don't take my word for it when you can check it out for yourself! In the video below, you can actually watch the bacterial swarm assemble a tiny pyramid:
so this is a tiny version of wooly willy?
This is amazing! I wonder where these bacteria live in the wild, and what they like to eat that lives near magnets? Perhaps they use lots of iron in their metabolism?
if the scale is correct then its approx 3mm across
this manipulation could be done with very accurate tweezers.
Well, yes, but the arrangement of the bacteria is trivial. What's noteworthy here are the methods used. This looks to be a proof of concept for much more complex applications.
I'm not sure what you are referring to as 3mm. The scale shows a bar that is labeled 100 micro-meters. Each building block looks to be slightly smaller than the reference bar, meaning it would take about 10 of them laid end-to-end to make 1 millimeter or 1mm. The entire swarm looks to be about 4 bars wide or 0.4mm (less than 1/2mm). So good luck with those tweezers.
Let’s use them to remotely construct a millimeter microwave antenna in the human brain at the pleasure center, then pulse the antenna array to stimulate that area.
Let's use them to pinpoint deliver toxins to cancer cells as directed by magnetic holograms.
Maybe we could use them to build a small micro structure nozzle to direct the flow of acetylene for the formation of carbon nano-tube threads.
Absolutely amazing, this technology has enormous applications....imagine self-replicating factories :)
@flash.killer: Bacteria 3mm long??? Are you sure you saw correctly? www.shoes-addiction.com
Amazing, that is truly incredible.
these are midi-chlorians or not? how many of these midi-chlorians can fit in a human cell?
Cool game, I wanna play.
It is unclear to me what benefit using the bacteria has over just using some kind of magnetic particles since they are just being dragged by the magnetic field.
The bacteria, of a type known as magnetotactic, contain structures called magnetosomes, which function as a compass. In the presence of a magnetic field, the magnetosomes induce a torque on the bacteria, making them swim according to the direction of the field. Place a magnetic field pointing right and the bacteria will move right. Switch the field to point left and the bacteria will follow suit.
Each bacterium has flagella capable of generating about 4 picoNewtons. It's a very small amount of thrust force, but put thousands of bacteria to work together and they can move mountains. Well, micro mountains. www.onlinenotebook.com
Bio and nano tech is why the Chinese will not rule this century. The power of this technology is nearly limitless.
Self-replicating factories (in fact the whole subject) makes me think of the book "swarm" by Crichton. Kind of freaks me out.
get them to do the sphinx aswell, then I'll be impressed; is this some April 1st BS?
In this great demonstration, 'a robotic micro-assembly process relies on the several thousand flagellated bacteria acting as a micro-workers to build a pyramidal structure.'
Latest Gadgets - http://www.gizmos360.com/
Take us to your leader!
This is the beginnings of Electronic Harassment........welcome to 2013 folks!