Magnetic Micro Robots Set to Change the World of Manufacturing


Much before the release of Big Hero 6 showcased Hiro’s micro-bots captivating the audience, a team of researchers at SRI International have gone ahead testing the first prototypes of a similar technology. Magnetic micro robots are a reality today. Magnetic micro robots are extremely tiny worker bots that operate on a magnetic field and are controlled by a circuit board. The tiny bots work in sync with one another, both in terms of position and time as well as function.

Magnetic micro robots work on a concept known as the Diamagnetic Micro Manipulation system or DM3 system. Magnets are placed underneath the surface which holds a circuit board and atop the surface are the tiny robots which are not much larger than ticks. The magnetic micro robots can move extremely fast and with great precision. They also have amazing time synchronization as that is the key to getting all the tiny bots to work as a team.

Magnetic micro robots can transform the world of manufacturing in more ways than presently thought. The size, efficiency and regulation of the micro robots make them ideal for automated factories. They can be used for manufacturing small or tiny devices, gadgets or products and they can be used on a large scale as well. The only difference would be the number of micro robots being used for a specific department or job.

For a while now, DARPA Open Manufacturing Program has been developing and perfecting the DM3 or Diamagnetic Micro Manipulation System. Today, the program has managed to attain precise control of tiny robots. The demand was to have millimeter scale structural control of micro robots so that they can be used to manufacture macro scale products with unprecedented quality. For now, the developments are certainly indicative of a positive outcome. If magnetic micro robots can be used on small and large scales, then there are innumerable industries and applications where they can be put to great use. From tissue manufacturing to electronics manufacturing, magnetic micro robots can be used in more ways than imaginable.

How the future would shape up is unforeseen but it is fair to presume that the magnetic micro robots would not become universal. They would certainly face obstructions from labor unions and governments of various countries would rather keep the people happy than trying to have the micro robots jumping on some field to create products.