from the feeding-the-fascination dept.
People — or at least the popular science media — seem to have a continuing fascination with the diminutive robots under development by Sylvain Martel at the Nano-Robotics Research Group within the MIT BioInstrumentation Laboratory, who has created small mobile robots which he calls NanoWalkers. Or maybe itís just the hometown press: MITís Technology Review Magazine ran a short article ("Walking Small", by David Cameron, 1 March 2002). Previous coverage of these decidedly NON-nanotech devices was noted here on Nanodot on 25 January 2002 and 20 December 2001.
Not to be outdone, and going a step smaller, an article in Semiconductor Business News ("Agilent Labs says 'nano-stepper' is smallest MEMS device", by Mark LaPedus, 14 March 2002) reports that Agilent Technologies Inc.'s R&D arm in Santa Clara, California is developing what is believed to be the world's smallest device, based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology. According to the article, the nano-stepper is a miniature moving component that is capable of providing linear, two-dimensional movements of about 15 million steps per second, with each step taken by the "nano-stepper" measuring 1.5-nm.