US boffins create eco-robots

While Japanese Frankensteins keep all eyes on frogs....
Written by Pia Heikkila, Contributor

While Japanese Frankensteins keep all eyes on frogs....

US scientists are busy creating tiny robots to monitor pollution levels in the world's oceans. The University of Southern California has received a grant from the US National Science Foundation to develop microscopic robots to monitor dangerous organisms in the sea. The robots are built using nano-technology. The machines' built-in microscopes can scan samples whilst in the water. NASA scientists have also developed a robot built to aid in explorations of the earth's polar ice caps. The robot, called Cryobot, melts its way through layers of ice to collect data and images. Its inventors claim that it could be even used on the surface of Mars. The robot was recently tested in the Arctic Circle where it managed to dig 23m into a glacier. And in more robot-related news, Japanese scientists have succeeded in growing the world's first artificial eyeballs. Researchers at Tokyo University have managed to grow eyeballs in tadpoles using cells taken from frog embryos. The scientists succeeded in transplanting the artificial eye into a tadpole whose left eye had been removed. One week after the transplant, the scientists confirmed the tadpole's eyeball was connected to the optic nerves and there were no rejection symptoms.
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