The World’s Smallest Robots: Rise of the Nanomachines

The World’s Smallest Robots: Rise of the Nanomachines


We have spent years dreaming up a future with robots, for better or for worse. They’re either super sweet like Bicentennial Man and WALL-E or super terrifying like
in iRobot or the Terminator. But what if I told you scientists have been making robots that you can’t see or hear as they creep up on human civilization. That’s right, scientists are working
on making very tiny robots. In the future, these nanobots might be able to deliver drugs anywhere in the body, clean up oil spills and do a lot more. Time to learn about the rise
of the molecular machines. [Reactions splash] These incredibly small gadgets are
made from molecules that are orders of magnitude smaller than a human cell. They move, change form, and — most importantly do work on their environment, all thanks to scientists controlling their
chemical and physical properties. So far, scientists have created molecular motors, switches, shuttles, turnstiles, and even nanocars. Let’s start off with the smallest molecular machine building block: molecular switches. Here is Dan Claes from the University of Nebraska: Dan: “Like light switches, molecular switches go on or off, thanks to molecules
undergoing “conformational changes.” Those are simply changes in structure — they’ve still got all the same atoms attached in the same order, but they can bend or twist in response to
a stimulus, sort of like a beach chair that you can fold and unfold. By shining UV light, changing temperature, or prompting chemical reactions in other ways, scientists can force these molecular switches
to undergo conformational changes and thus switch on or off.” Switches are so basic, though. These molecular machines can
get way more complex. They can be 3-D, they can be DNA-based,
they can walk, I could go on. So scientists are working toward building molecular machines built from many tiny robots working together toward collective motion.. So, in theory, nanoscale machines could move things at a macro level. Not macro like helping you move your TV. But macro like proteins and cells. Why does that matter? Dan: “Well, think about how our muscles work. When you contract your muscles, whether to lift something heavy, like your TV, or just put on a gun show, your muscle isn’t working as one big machine. It’s millions of tiny muscle cells, and inside those muscle cells, even tinier sarcomeres that make your muscle fibers contract and extend. Sound familiar? There have been some attempts to make nanobots to work as artificial muscles. These are light-activated nanosheets sliding in a motion similar to natural muscle fibers. Much like real muscles, these tiny machines’ movement cause a much larger movement, relative to their own size.” So in the future, this means we could potentially implant artificial muscles into our bodies. Another cool application would be transporting nanocargo such as drugs or even information around our bodies and in the environment. These single-molecule-sized nanocars and nanotrucks have spherical wheels, rotating axles, and a molecular chassis and can be powered by shining light or using other chemistry tricks. On a larger scale, microrockets and microsubmarines can also move around and deliver larger cargo. For example, microsubmarines could be unleashed in order to capture and remove oil in the event of massive oil spills. Both of these micromachines work by reacting
with surrounding solutions to form gas bubbles that propel the microvehicles around. And they pick up and drop off cargo also using chemistry — they can pick up oil in water through hydrophobic interactions or could pick up magnetized cargo by adjusting
surrounding magnetic fields. Dan: “All of this sounds great. But there are still plenty of examples of other technologies that beat out molecular machines on efficiency, speed, and capabilities. These miniature workhorses use much less energy compared with bigger machines, but scientists still have to figure out how to take advantage of that before nanobots can work for us. We can eventually take this nanoscale motion and create macroscale results. But you’ll still have to ask your
friends to help you move. Sorry.” What’s your favorite robot? We’ll accept full-size robots. R2D2? Optimus Prime? Bender? Let us know in the comments. For more small science, check out our episode on what an atom actually looks like. Or find out what’s inside your
iPhone without breaking it open. And subscribe for more weekly chemistry videos. Thanks for watching.

100 Replies to “The World’s Smallest Robots: Rise of the Nanomachines”

  1. Welcome to the Machine Kingdom, peeps. Watch "Terminator" movies & you'll get the gist of my post. The intent is to turn humans into machines so they can have control of you. That's why they spray the skies with chemtrails…tiny particles like the robots in this vid.

  2. isn't the use of extra drugs the cause of bacteria and viruses having immunity to them? why don't the nano machines just eat and dissolve them for the sake of the pain in developing medicines faster than bacteria developing immunity to them

  3. "or put on a gun show" 2:20 with his hand in the shape of a gun. anyone see the link with mkultra, the background animated bodybuilder didnt cover it up well enough

  4. We can create solutions or medicines for simple complex diseases like blood pressure , diabetes , high cholestrol…by creating these nano machines….!!

  5. Nano Machines are like Nano Policeman…..They can be configured to check weather there are adulterated particles present in the cooking oil you are using….U just need to pour these nano machines into the oil and they will clean your cooking oil…..as simple as that……

  6. We need to create a nano machine…1….nano machine 2…..nano machine 3…..for a particular job……and they pass on information from one nano machine to other via a nano network ( or nano internet network)…and then send that information to the extrenal world….that we can visualize easily by email or whatsapp…….CRAZY…Isn't it…

  7. If we have create a nano machine…..we need to name it also…say a nano machine going deep into see to check the oil particles floating after oil carrier crash in sea….can be named as Nano Ship (…)

    While a nano machine inside your washing machine cleaning the dirt of clothes can be named . as… Nano Washing Machine (…)

    So , we can have virtually millions of types of nano machines….

  8. We need hat some softwares (Free versions ) be created by software engineers where even a child can create a nano machine…..and develop the nano machine science more forward…..

  9. The best part is that if you have gone to vacation in Thailand at the age of 45…..and have taken lot of butter chicken there…..that would surely increase your cholesterol levels in your blood …..making harmful for your body health…….
    and if we take a capsule of this nano machine after eating butter chicken…..it will neutralize all the harmful cholestrol….bringing cholesterol level to normal level while you sleep in your hotel room in Thailand…..and the next morning you wake up…all fresh and healthy…CRAZY…!!

  10. I am a chemist graduated from Punjab University and I will be working on these nano machines….if you are interested to collaborate with me …..no matter you are from which part of the world …..you may write a mail to me at [email protected] or send a whatsapp message to me at +91.9958723546

    It would be such a fun to work together on these nano machines and we would create some marvel nano machine….

  11. This is ridiculous. I come to see intellectual responses about the nano technology and all i see is beltway pansies talking about memesoons as if they have sundowners that need to get fucking invincible . youre all in touch with your inner child. Your mothers shouldnt have fret over her egg.

  12. I would bet cash the govt already has working nanomachines. There has not been any groundbreaking scientific discoveries made public since the invention of the nuclear bomb. We waste trillions and trillions on military spending and people think thats just to design better bullets, guns or other dumbass bs? In todays day and age they have manipulating and distracting the public down to a science so much so nobody is even asking what kind of secret weapons our govt is working on.

  13. I came to the comments for the Metal Gear and Xenogears memes… I am not that disappointed (and one of my rec vids is the final battle against Deus) LMAO

  14. We're always promised cures for diseases and salvation for the environment. It's a load of bs like the stupid pink ribbons and cure for cancer drives. These evil elites don't give a fuck about us and use all this tech for evil.

  15. Why dont they give them DNA blue prints to become a complex organizim instead of symbiotic blob

  16. If nanobots can clean up oil spills what happens if they get underground will they clean up oil that hasn't been recovered yet?

  17. And you motherfuckers have sprayed them all over the planet!!!!!! All over us.everyone is infected by these nano bots.i didn't give you permission to infect me or my son.or my friends.i think whoever is responsible for this should be executed.!!!!!

  18. Nano robots should be used to cleanse stuck asbestos from the inner human body this would prevent asbestos related cancers !.

  19. The nanomachines inside their bodies enhance and regulate their abilities. Genetic control, information control, emotion control, battlefield control…everything is monitored and kept under control.

  20. Hello im having a situation regarding nanobots , where – neighbours are using nanobots on me without my knowledge of it . and they use it to make me feel lots of pain , like torture . And im looking for some help to stop this , please answear me on my email [email protected]
    abv.bg. Or call me directly on my cell phone 0988908749. That's in Bulgaria .

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