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Day 55 – Q 1.What are autonomous microrobots? What are their applications? Discuss.

1. What are autonomous microrobots? What are their applications? Discuss. 

स्वायत्त माइक्रो रोबोट क्या हैं? उनके अनुप्रयोग क्या हैं? चर्चा करें।


A microrobot is a miniaturized, sophisticated machine designed to perform a specific task or tasks repeatedly and with precision. Microrobots typically have dimensions ranging from a fraction of a millimeter up to several millimeters.


An autonomous microrobot contains its own on-board computer, which controls the machine and allows it to operate independently. 

  • Microbots work on the same principle as that of an industrial robot.
  • Primary components of a robot:
  • A sensor to sense the stimuli from the environment
  • An actuator to perform the mechanical actions like moving, lifting, dropping etc.
  • A microcontroller to enable communication between sensors and actuators
  • A power source to power all the parts of a robot
  • A platform which houses all these parts
  • A software that instructs working of various parts


Due to their small size, microbots are potentially very cheap, and could be used in large numbers (swarm robotics) to explore environments which are too small or too dangerous for people or larger robots.

  • Drug delivery
    • Microbots are increasing seen as the technology of the future for drug delivery replacing the current invasive techniques. It can do drug delivery and stem cell delivery to a particular region of the body.
    • Another promising application is the monitoring of chemical and physical parameters inside the body.
    • Eg: To destroy tumors in cancer, performing biopsy, destroy kidney stones, removing plaque in arteries and other surgeries.
  • Neuroscience
    • Microbots can be used to study nerve signals in brain.
  • Pollution
    • Microbots are seen as a solution to remove heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, chromium etc. from water.
  • Industrial applications
    • Microbots can be used to perform cleaning operations in industrial machines, IC engines etc.
  • Cleaning of batteries
    • Microbots can be used to clean batteries of electronic devices thereby increasing the life of batteries.

Some microbots are:

RoboBees: Autonomous Flying Microrobots

Insect-inspired robots with potential uses in crop pollination, search and rescue missions, surveillance, as well as high-resolution weather, climate, and environmental monitoring.

The masterminding of the RoboBee was motivated by the idea to develop autonomous micro-aerial vehicles capable of self-contained, self-directed flight and of achieving coordinated behavior in large groups

HAMR: Versatile Crawling Microrobot

Ambulatory and highly dexterous insect-inspired microrobots for diverse tasks in confined environments. Small or difficult-to-access spaces such as areas covered with rubble, or narrow pipes and engines can pose obstacles to search-and-rescue missions, repair works, or environmental and industrial monitoring. One solution for these problems could be small-sized robots that are able to navigate such spaces, transport payload, sense, and communicate.

Wyss Institute researchers have developed a 1.5 gram, insect-scale microrobot, called HAMR (short for Harvard Ambulatory Microrobot) with locomotion capabilities beginning to approach those of the insects, and with the opportunity to add even more functions.


In the next several years we will see serious improvement in performance of micro-robots and a rising number of start-ups that will use the potential of micro-robotics to boost innovations. One thing is clear – our life will be more and more influenced by robotic technologies. Micro-robotics will play a significant role in this fascinating development.

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