Nanorobot divers jump in to save the day from environmental water hazards
From wastewater treatment to environmental remediation after leaks or spills, cleaning up water to make it safe for humans and the environment is a pressing challenge. Unlike large pieces of trash that can be removed from parks and beaches by people, we do not have tiny divers to eliminate invisible threats from wastewater and aquatic ecosystems. All that is changing with the advent of micro-scale and nano-scale robots, especially miniature self-propelled robots that promise to clean up unsafe water in an incredibly efficient fashion owing to active mixing and large surface activity. The EU-funded Microbots4Enviro project is developing light-responsive autonomous micro-/nanorobots based on photocatalytic materials. The elaborately designed versatile nanorobots can not only actively function as pollutant cleaners (such as dyes and explosives), but also act as robust bacteria fighters in contaminated water.
Fields of science
- engineering and technologyenvironmental engineeringwater treatment processeswastewater treatment processes
- natural scienceschemical sciencescatalysisphotocatalysis
- natural sciencesphysical scienceselectromagnetism and electronicssemiconductivity
- engineering and technologynanotechnologynano-materials
- social sciencespolitical sciencesgovernment systems