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Dr. Volodymyr Koman, a postdoc at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), discusses his work with cell-sized robots and explains their many possible uses in our ever-increasing technological world.

Dr. Koman received a BS in Applied Physics from the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, then an MS in Photonics from Ghent University, before moving on to earn and complete his Ph.D. in Photonics at the prestigious Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne. Dr. Koman has a particular fascination with cell-sized robots and his work is focused in this area currently.

Dr. Koman discusses their cell-sized robots and how they arrived at the name of ‘colloidal nanoelectronic state machines’ for their groundbreaking tiny robots. He describes state machines as simple robots with several states on board, essentially state machines that are doing computations on board of the particle. Dr. Koman describes his team’s fascination with nature, which caused them to pose questions such as, can we think like nature? Their work takes the question into the test phase, as they seek to make advanced cell-size ‘state machines’ or robots that can form tissues and create bigger structures.

These minuscule robots can sense their environment, store data, and complete computational tasks. They consist of tiny electronic circuits comprised of two-dimensional materials, riding along atop minuscule particles known as colloids. Dr. Koman explains how these tiny state machines can communicate with each other while completing tasks. He expounds upon their vision for the future of these infinitesimal robots.

Dr. Koman provides details on the structures and circuits of their tiny state machines, and how they hope to effectively allow them to transform and change shape. These machines will look very different from our current machines and from our cells, Dr. Koman states.

The cellular-size technology expert provides further information on uses within the bloodstream. One particular area of expansion for the technology could be for diagnostics. By combining these tiny objects with complex circuitry, it may open up possibilities for the creation of devices that could be utilized to carry out diagnostic journeys into the human digestive system. Colloids can exist in environments and move about in ways that other materials simply cannot, which makes them particularly attractive for specialized tasks. Dr. Koman talks about the future of robotics and his team’s outlook for their advanced tiny robots. From bloodstream to tissue, the uses and possibilities are nearly limitless.

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