For the first time, Dutch researchers have made a polymeric material that converts the light that falls on it in motion.
The device has the size of a paperclip and moves at the speed of the caterpillar, traveling up to half a centimeter per second. The engineers at Eindhoven University of Technology, led by Professor Dick Broder, made the publication in the journal Nature.
Researchers believe that their invention can be used to transport small objects to inaccessible places or to clean surfaces such as a photovoltaic from dusts.
Experiments have shown that the device from this material is strong enough to carry a heavier than the same object and even on the hill.
The particular polymeric material, containing liquid crystals, begins to do itself waves under the influence of light. This is because, in reaction to light, it is constantly deformed as one side of the material contracts and the other expands. In this way, it can move forward when the light falls on it, and stops as soon as it goes out.