In recent years, scientists have been working to create robots that consist of a single molecule. Until recently, these robots have been able of only brief, directed motion on a one-dimensional track. Now a team of researchers have successfully created molecular robots capable of simple robotic actions within a defined environment autonomously, including the ability to start moving, turn, and stop. The researchers believe the process they have developed to achieve these tentative first steps may allow for more complex robotic behavior from these tiny robots. Milan Stojanovich, representing team of researchers from four institutions, discusses the team's work and its potential for future progress in this new field.
Credit: Columbia University/National Science Foundation