Sylvain Martel's Keynote abstract is now available here and at: http://www.nanonets.org/keynote.shtml.
"Towards Intelligent Bacterial Nanorobots Capable of Communicating with the Macro-World"
The field of nanorobotics defines nanorobots from large robotic platforms capable of nanometer-scale operations to robots with overall dimensions in the nanometer-scale. But because of actual technological constraints, the definition of nanorobots often includes untethered robots with overall dimensions in the micrometer-scale that depend on the integration of nanometer-scale components for the execution of specific tasks. An example is the intracellular magnetite nanoparticles assembled in a chain-like structure and termed magnetosomes embedded in magnetotactic bacteria (MTB).
As demonstrated by our group, this structure allows accurate directional control of these flagellated bacteria by an external computer by exploiting magnetotaxis where a directional torque is induced from local magnetic fields generated with relatively small electrical currents. By controlling a swarm of MC-1 cells, each providing through a pair of flagellated nanomotors thrust forces exceeding 4pN, it becomes possible in an aqueous medium to provide directional control and propulsion to relatively large micro-components and in particular microelectronic integrated circuits (IC) that can provide a level of intelligence to micrometer-scale aqueous robots.
In this talk, we show that it is possible with actual available technologies to implement an intelligent untethered system or robot with overall dimensions of only a few hundreds micrometers capable of communicating to an external computer its directional propulsion requirements based on sensory information collected by the robot itself in order to find a specific target. The talk will not only show examples of computer-controlled bacterial actuation and how it can be exploited to minimize electrical energy requirement for the implementation of smaller untethered robots, but the basic architecture of such intelligent robot will be presented with emphasis on engineering challenges at such a scale.
Among several topics, the talk will propose a new communication paradigm between such nanorobots and external computers, bypassing power and miniaturization limitations of the more traditional communication techniques when implemented at such a scale. Then the presentation will conclude on the possibility of implementing swarms of these intelligent bacterial robots to accomplish more advanced tasks through networked interactions and other techniques including swarm intelligence.
The abstract for Tatsuya Suda's keynote will be coming soon!
~Damira (Nano-Net 2008 Webmaster)