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The Next Generation of Nanomanipulation

Topology optimisation is a powerful computerbased method for obtaining better mechanical designs… the algorithm does not care about engineer-aesthetics – yet the designs are strangely beautiful. The films shows a manipulation sequence where a carbon nanotube is broken off and transferred to a “TEM grid” – a sample suited for inspection with a Transmission Electron Microscope.

The grippers are designed and fabricated by Özlem Sardan, MIC – Dept of Micro and Nanotechnology, Tech. Univ of Denmark. The filming and nanorobotics were done by Volkmar Eichhorn, Oldenburg University.

Duration : 0:2:0

Filed Under: Nanotechnology


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  1. NanoClips says:

    no, the film was …
    no, the film was sped up – the factor varies, but its something like a factor of five. The actual manipulation can be done with the speed in the film (but there was no reason), but the long transport from the nanotube surface to the TEM grid (the destination structure) cannot be done quite as fast.

  2. feki00 says:

    Nice videos.
    Would …

    Nice videos.
    Would you make a video about the whole machine while its working?

  3. DeimosSaturn says:

    Why not just …
    Why not just genetically engineer bacteria to manufacture the grippers? Or even just modify organelles and proteins from bacteria to do the things we want them to? This seems like a cave man’s approach to nanotechnology to me. We already understand the theory behind chemistry, it behaves in exactly the way we predict it to, so why are we still trying to manipulate the world with these proxy representations of our hands?

  4. NanoClips says:

    Well… “just …
    Well… “just modify”… thats the point. Maybe in 50 years, it will be possible to do that, and then I’ll be 91. I cannot wait so long – we are indeed at the cavemans level right now. You are just suggesting the caveman (me) to skip the boring “handcraft tool, develop wheel etc” and go to robots. Have patience! Molecular nanotechnology in is very far from being useful on the scale shown in the film.

  5. c0mpshades45 says:

    VERY IMPRESSIVE!!! I hope someday nanotechnology will cure my blind eye..

  6. DeimosSaturn says:

    I disagree, I seem …
    I disagree, I seem to remember reading about nano legs that can walk on a nano ladder made out of simple genetic material. Pieces of normal nucleotides and amino acids, things that show up in normal living things, that were exploited to do something we wanted it to do. I fail to see this anthropomorphization of things at the nano scale as being the foundation of true nano tech.

  7. NanoClips says:

    using genetic …
    using genetic material to harvest a carbon nanofiber like this one is like cutting a tree with a nailfile. “Molecular tweezers will soon build thousands of nanocircuits” sells newspapers but have so far failed to do the slightest hint of good. Genetics is more relevant for nanomedicine. I am not claming our work to be “true nanotech” (which i find is a meaningless term). The hypothesis is that mechanical hands could be of use on the nanoscale, like they certainly are on the macroscale.

  8. DeimosSaturn says:

    I think your …
    I think your hypothesis has only been validated on a very superficial level. We already know that the graspers (which are psychologically just extensions of our clunky hands) will not behave in the same intuitive manner since we are starting to come face to face with the strangeness of quantum physics. We simply must re-evaluate this philosophy of Top-Down theorizing. We already know enough to start from bottom-up.

  9. NanoClips says:

    … we know enough …
    … we know enough to start, sure! But if you know enough to start, you also know that it will long time before bottom-up can process larger complex structures. embly line industry depends entirely on robots to do the work. Are these people stupid? Do you use your hands? *We* are perhaps superficial stoneage researchers, but we have made this tool and it picks and places nanostructures. It is not “philosophy” or “theorising” it is “reality”.
    Reality is great when you want something done :-)

  10. NanoClips says:

    … I am not …
    … I am not defending this research compared to bottom up research – just attempting to motivate why we are interested in it, and possibilities we see. Bottom up embly is something althogether different, and I have the greatest respect for the researchers who fight to puth things together with chemistry – it is very important research, and holds much promise for the future. Speaking of which (the future) I should be more cautious discussing. It is something *everyone* knows very little about

  11. DeimosSaturn says:

    Robots are doing …
    Robots are doing human scale work. We can’t manipulate chunks of metal and plastic in an elemental or predictable manner through nudging the way we can manipulate proteins and individual atoms. The only reason I use my hands is BECAUSE i can’t manipulate individual atoms. If I could manipulate matter at the atomic level, I’d never need my hands again.

  12. DeimosSaturn says:

    I can tell you …
    I can tell you right now, the chemistry approach is going to be easier, cheaper, and more theoretical. Your top down nano grasper approach is going to be less efficient, more expensive, and extremely limited. The only practical application I could imagine before the chemistry approach replaces it is examining forensic evidence for crime scenes.

  13. NanoClips says:

    Dear DeimosSaturn. …
    Dear DeimosSaturn. “The only reason I use my hands is because i cant manipulate atoms”… are you sure? The only reason? How about typing on computers, cooking and about 10000 other things you use your hands for? You are strong in the faith, and your arguments are beyond my powers of reason. Thank you for sharing your points of view and for your enthusiasm; i will get back to embling nanostructures and developing novel tools to do so – stay tuned, and keep thinking about what nano can do :)

  14. DeimosSaturn says:

    YES. I AM SURE. …
    YES. I AM SURE. Keyboards are designed for human hands. If I could manipulate matter at the atomic level I could simply manipulate the CPU directly. Nothing I say is in faith…you just haven’t tried to meet me half way. Our hands and any extension of them are just that. Big clumsy paws and modified spears or clubs. Go ahead and continue this vein of research…it will be quashed by the true nano-sciences in the recent future.

  15. NanoClips says:

    I have no problem …
    I have no problem with something better replacing what we are doing now.. Its called progress and thats what we live for. In my view there are much, much more obvious uses of molecular nanotechnology than mechanical manipulation. The thing is: it wont be around the next 3 decades (replacing grippers I mean), and we cant wait that long. Grippers are not competing with large-scale fabrication – it is a serial tool, not a parallel. With a gripper you can do flexible work, build 1 prototype.

  16. tungjitsu says:

    this is merely to …
    this is merely to create tools for the next level of micronization as well as to begin to create the engines that are driven by the smaller mechanisms and chemical catalyts

  17. nesnahsleort says:

    DeimosSaturn, it …
    DeimosSaturn, it seems to me that you are arguing on matters of which you understand very little. Chemists can do impressive work with their bottom-up methods, but mixing stuff in reagent tubes will *never* be able to do what the nano gripper just did; moving a nanowire from a substrate to a analysing grid, which is something you have to be able to do in order to analyse it.

  18. linalrichie says:

    this would b good 4 …
    this would b good 4 my pubic lice, get some bigger type nano eyes

  19. DeimosSaturn says:

    A DNA molecule can …
    A DNA molecule can be adapted to do the work of a nano gripper. I know PRECISELY what I’m talking about.

  20. nesnahsleort says:

    Then perhaps you …
    Then perhaps you wouldn’t mind showing us an in situ electron microscopy movie of that. I’ll even settle for a few article references.

  21. Max11551 says:

    What with the the …
    What with the the nanoscale fontsize?

    Otherwise, great video, cool background music, what is that?

  22. Max11551 says:

    Both the top-down …
    Both the top-down and bottom-up approach have much merit to them, and their individual pros and cons. What is the point of rebuking one and adulating the other?

  23. normskis69 says:

    Wow, that was an …
    Wow, that was an excellent read. Thank you!!

  24. normskis69 says:

    Wow, that was an …
    Wow, that was an excellent read. Thank you!!

  25. r8farm says:

    what music was used …
    what music was used ?

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