Optimum inertial self-propulsion design for snowman-like nanorobot

29 julio 2014

A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines. Scale plays a major role in locomotion. Swimming microorganisms, such as bacteria and spermatozoa, are subjected to relatively small inertial forces compared to the viscous forces exerted by the surrounding fluid. Such low-level inertia makes self-propulsion a major challenge. Now, scientists have found that the direction of propulsion made possible by such inertia is opposite to that induced by a viscoelastic fluid.