Think you’re space-limited in your 10′ x 6′ “in front of the cars” garage/metal shop? In a laboratory in Switzerland they’re working in a space measured in nanometers — that’s billionths of an inch. From NewScientistTech.com:
One technique, called “nanorobotic” spot welding, uses molten copper to join up objects in the same way that a human electrician might use solder. It was developed by Brad Nelson, Lixin Dong and Li Zhang at the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems, Zurich, Switzerland and colleagues Xinyong Tao and XIabin Zhang at Zhejiang University, China.
“We position a 50-nanometre-wide carbon nanotube filled with copper inside a nanorobotic manipulator, and run a small voltage through it to melt the copper,” explains Dong. In experiments the researchers positioned the manipulator so the melting metal connected one carbon nanotube to another.
I suppose that takes a steady hand. Check out the article for an interesting read about some of the other techniques they’re using and their ultimate applications.
Elsewhere on the web: