We all know that eating fish is good for your health, but what about fish shaped robots?
In a study published this month in Advanced Materials, researchers from UC San Diego announced that they’d figured out a way to 3D print tiny microrobots in the shape of fish.
The fish are just 120 microns long and 30 microns thick, much smaller than a human hair. Researchers can 3D print hundreds of the fish in seconds. The fish are printed with tiny particles of platinum in the tail which react with hydrogen peroxide. When the microfish are placed in peroxide, the tails move, propelling the fish along. The scientists can also add other particles to the materials used to print the fish, including chemicals that can detect and absorb toxins like bee venom.
In the study, they showed that the microfish could detoxify a liquid contaminated with a toxin. As the fish work, they glow red, and the swimming motion helps make sure they don’t miss a drop of the contaminant.
These fish are just a proof of concept. They won’t be used outside of a lab for a long time yet, but their creators have very high hopes for the fish.