A self-adhesive plastic film and a powder consisting of electromagnetic microparticles are the main components of a new type of robot invented by Chinese engineers. Under the influence of a magnetic field, this robot could take on various forms, which allowed it to perform many tasks.
For example, completely folded on its own, this robot could get inside the stomach. Once at his destination, he deployed to administer a drug or perform a surgical procedure, as we can read in The New Scientist.
According to the researchers, their prototype can be made easily and at a very reasonable cost. The process can even be automated. The replicas of the robots would then be printed on long rolls of plastic film, like newspapers.
However, human clinical trials are still a long way off. Indeed, the materials used, in particular the magnetic particles consisting of neodymium, iron and boron, are toxic to human cells.