I could see medical uses for these types of small robots. I am thinking of clot busters, artery cleaning, internal injury first aid, to mention a few. The question is not if, but when will these be commonplace? Just the other day I heard a commercial for the DaVinci Robot surgery center at a nearby hospital. They talked about the precision robot tool directed by the hand of the surgeon and the reduction in recovery time due to the minimal invasive nature of this new surgery method. With the reduction to micrometer size I could see many more uses and improvements in surgery and treatments.
We typically envision advances in robotics as enabling the robots to solve more complex problems. This article describes challenges in a completely different domain - the microscopic domain. It will be very interesting to see what unexpected problems can be solved as these technologies advance.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.