The researchers also demonstrated that their robot could gather materials and solder them into microcircuits, as well as use an onboard atomic force microscope probe to feel its way along a patterned surface, locating itself with an accuracy of two nanometers, which is less than the width of a DNA molecule.
Those who support minirobots for manufacturing, however, say their main advantage may be cost. “As you’re getting smaller, the cost per robot should go down,” Fearing says. “You can start to think about doing things with a hundred robots working in parallel, where at the macro scale it would be too expensive.”
The more I read about this stuff, the more appreciation I have for Mother Nature.