Cleansing Contaminated water with Nanorobots Propelled by Magnets

Nanorobots remove contaminated water

Scientists have developed nanorobots powered by magnets to remove pollutants from water. The invention can be scaled-up to provide an affordable and sustainable way of cleaning contaminated water at treatment plants.

Martin Pumera at the University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague, in the Czech Republic and his colleagues developed the nanorobots by using a temperature-sensitive polymer material and iron oxide. The polymer material acts as tiny hands to pick up and remove pollutants from water while the iron dioxide makes the nanorobots magnet. Researchers added oxygen and hydrogen to the iron oxide so that it can adhere to target pollutants.

The robots have a diameter of about 200 nanometres and are powered magnetic fields that allow the team control their movement.