The combination of space and nanotechnology, for decades, is becoming more popular and relevant in technological laboratories and research centers in the United States. One of the most prestigious research centers in the U.S. space is NASA’s Goddard Space Center.
The Goddard Space Flight Center of NASA, in fact, one of the laboratories where they study the science of space, located in Greenbelt, Maryland, the center was inaugurated on 1 May 1959, was devoted to Robert Goddard, father of propulsion modern rockets.
In recent years, after some technical mishaps of the Shuttle, the idea of sending automated probes in space exploration.
In this context we are pinning great hopes on nanotechnology in order to create space and send nanobots capable of performing this dangerous work, replacing the action of ‘man.
The mechanical devices in question are called Tetwalker, acronym tetrahedron walker. I remember in geometry, a tetrahedron is a polyhedron with four triangular faces, with four vertices and six edges. In other words TETwalker is a robot made up of a “pyramid” flexible, making it capable of changing shape.
Each apex of the pyramid houses a small electric motor axis on which ending metal gear, electric motors are used to shorten or lengthen each side of the pyramid, varying the center of gravity, a feature that that allows the robot to move in on rolling same. Its special structure makes it also capable of changing its configuration, assuming a more or less flattened.
Some research groups have developed new ideas for the best feature of nanorobots, such as replacement of electric motors with nano electro-mechanical structures and the incorporation of carbon nanotubes instead of metal telescopic axis.
Nano electro-mechanical structures can be represented by MEMS, “intelligent” systems that combine electronic functions, fluid management, optical, biological, chemical and mechanical in a small space, integrating the technology of sensors and actuators and the most diverse process management functions.
The carbon nanotubes, to be used in place of the telescopic axis, resulting from a suitable combination of carbon atoms in diameter tubular construction of five to ten atoms, to obtain structures that behave electrically as a transistor, and having a resistance mechanical tensile strength 100 times greater than that of a bar of steel, but weighs six times less.
This miniature version of TETwalker, adopting micro-and nano-electromechanical systems, innovative traction system will give the opportunity to organize into more complex structures, paving the way for robots capable of modifying itself according to the needs of the moment.
Now there are all conditions to begin the adventure of doing nanotech in our solar system and beyond.