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13-mm-long robot fish created by scientists to ‘eat’ oceanic microplastic

Scientists have created a tiny robot fish to collect microplastics from the water. The microplastics will be absorbed by the body of this 13 mm long fish as it swims around. The soft, flexible, and self-healing nature of this fish makes it unique. It swims on its own as well. The fish can swim and flap at almost 30 mm per second thanks to a light laser system in its tail. It is comparable to the rate of drift of plankton in moving water.

The materials used to make the robot fish were modelled after substances found in the water, such as mother-of-pearl or nacre. It has been applied to the clam shells’ internal lining. By layering different microscopic sheets of molecules in accordance with the precise chemical gradient of nacre, a substance resembling nacre was produced. According to the study, it can draw a weight of up to 5 kg and is also supple and flexible to twist.

The world’s escalating microplastics problem will be helped by this fish. The creation of a robot that can precisely collect and sample harmful microplastic contaminants from the aquatic environment is very important. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first instance of such soft robots, according to Yuyan Wang, a researcher at Sichuan University’s Polymer Research Institute. Wang was one of the study’s principal authors, and it was published in the journal ‘Nano Letters.’


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