Researchers have made a winged microchip the size of a grain of sand, which is possibly the smallest flying device ever made. Vice has called. They are designed to be carried by the wind and could be used in numerous applications including disease and air pollution tracking, according to one of. published paper nature. At the same time, they could be made from biodegradable materials to prevent pollution.
The design of the flyers was inspired by spinning seeds from poplar and other trees. These fall slowly by spinning like helicopters so they can be picked up by the wind and removed far from the tree, increasing the range of the species.
The Northwest University team went with this idea, but made it better and smaller. “We believe we have beaten biology … we have been able to build structures that will fall into a more stable orbit than comparable seeds at slower top speeds than comparable seeds,” said Senior Professor John A. Rogers. “The other thing … was that we could make these helicopter flyer structures that are much smaller than seeds you’d see in nature.”
In addition, the devices are large enough to transport electronics, sensors and power sources. The team tested several versions that could carry payloads like an antenna so they could wirelessly communicate with a smartphone or with each other. Other sensors could monitor things like air acidity, water quality, and solar radiation.
The flyers are currently still concepts and not yet ready for use, but the team plans to expand their findings with different designs. The key to this is using biodegradable materials so they don’t end up in the environment.
“We don’t see these devices as permanent monitoring components, but rather as temporary devices that address a specific need of a limited duration,” said Rogers. “This is how we think of things right now: you monitor for a month and then the devices die, dissolve and disappear, and maybe you have to re-deploy them.”
This article was previously published on Source link