Saturday, March 13, 2010
Branched carbon nanotubes have been in the literature for a while now* and make up the business end of this manipulator concept. The idea was inspired by a wire grasper out in the garage. The macro-scale version looks something like this:
The way I picture the nanotube version working is a little different in that instead of the grasping fingers retracting in, the cnt version would use electrostatic forces to extend the outer carbon nanotubes over the branched tube. This lowers the chance that the fingers slip off whatever is being grasped. This would also require the inner-most tube to be anchored.
*Branched carbon nanotube junctions predicted by computational
nanotechnology and fabricated through nanowelding
,D. Srivastava, M. Menon and P.M. Ajayan,
Journal of Nanoparticle Research 5: 395–400, 2003.