Mark Miskin: This is a rotifer.
马克 · 米斯金（Mark Miskin）： 这是一只轮虫，
It's a microorganism about a hair's width in size.
They live everywhere on earth -- saltwater, freshwater, everywhere --
and this one is out looking for food.
I remember the first time I saw this thing,
I was like eight years old and it completely blew me away.
I mean, here is this incredible little creature,
it's hunting, swimming,
going about its life,
but its whole universe fits within a drop of pond water.
Paul McEuen: So this little rotifer shows us something really amazing.
保罗 · 麦克尤恩（Paul McEuen）： 这小小轮虫展示了一种神奇的可能。
It says that you can build a machine
that is functional, complex, smart,
but all in a tiny little package,
one so small that it's impossible to see it.
Now, the engineer in me is just blown away by this thing,
that anyone could make such a creature.
But right behind that wonder, I have to admit, is a bit of envy.
I mean, nature can do it. Why can't we?
Why can't we build tiny robots?
Well, I'm not the only one to have this idea.
In fact, in the last, oh, few years,
researchers around the world have taken up the task
of trying to build robots
that are so small that they can't be seen.
And what we're going to tell you about today
is an effort at Cornell University
and now at the University of Pennsylvania
to try to build tiny robots.
OK, so that's the goal.
But how do we do it?
How do we go about building tiny robots?
Well, Pablo Picasso, of all people, gives us our first clue.
巴勃罗 · 毕加索（Pablo Picasso） 给了我们第一个线索。
["Good artists copy, great artists steal."]
"Good artists copy. Great artists steal."
OK. But steal from what?
Well, believe it or not,
most of the technology you need to build a tiny robot already exists.
The semiconductor industry has been getting better and better
at making tinier and tinier devices,
so at this point they could put something like a million transistors
into the size of a package that is occupied by, say,
a single-celled paramecium.
And it's not just electronics.
They can also build little sensors,
whole communication packages that are too small to be seen.
So that's what we're going to do.
We're going to steal that technology.
Robot's got two parts, as it turns out.
It's got a head, and it's got legs.
[Steal these: Brains]
We're going to call this a legless robot,
which may sound exotic,
but they're pretty cool all by themselves.
In fact, most of you have a legless robot with you right now.
Your smartphone is the world's most successful legless robot.
In just 15 years, it has taken over the entire planet.
不到 15 年，它就掌控了整个世界。
It's such a beautiful little machine.
It's incredibly intelligent,
it's got great communication skills,
and it's all in a package that you can hold in your hand.
So we would like to be able to build something like this,
only down at the cellular scale,
the size of a paramecium.
This is our cell-sized smartphone.
It even kind of looks like a smartphone,
only it's about 10,000 times smaller.
只是小了 1 万倍。
We call it an OWIC.
我们称它为 OWIC 。
[Optical Wireless Integrated Circuits]
OK, we're not advertisers, all right?
But it's pretty cool all by itself.
In fact, this OWIC has a number of parts.
实际上，这个 OWIC 由很多部分组成。
So up near the top,
there are these cool little solar cells that you shine light on the device
and it wakes up a little circuit that's there in the middle.
And that circuit can drive a little tiny LED
随后这个电路 会驱动小小的 LED 屏，
that can blink at you and allows the OWIC to communicate with you.
让它闪烁， 从而允许 OWIC 与你交流。
So unlike your cell phone,
the OWIC communicates with light,
sort of like a tiny firefly.
Now, one thing that's pretty cool about these OWICs
这些 OWIC 还有一点很酷，
is we don't make them one at a time,
soldering all the pieces together.
We make them in massive parallel.
For example, about a million of these OWICs
比如，一个 4 英寸的晶片
can fit on a single four-inch wafer.
可以放下约 100 万个这样的 OWIC 。
And just like your phone has different apps,
you can have different kinds of OWICs.
我们也有不同的 OWIC 。
There can be ones that, say, measure voltage,
some that measure temperature,
or just have a little light that can blink at you to tell you that it's there.
So that's pretty cool, these tiny little devices.
And I'd like to tell you about them in a little more detail.
But first, I have to tell you about something else.
I'm going to tell you a few things about pennies that you might not know.
So this one is a little bit older penny.
It's got a picture of the Lincoln Memorial on the back.
But the first thing you might not know,
that if you zoom in, you'll find in the center of this thing
you can actually see Abraham Lincoln,
真的可以看到亚伯拉罕 · 林肯 （Abraham Lincoln），
just like in the real Lincoln Memorial not so far from here.
What I'm sure you don't know,
that if you zoom in even further --
you'll see that there's actually an OWIC on Abe Lincoln's chest.
各位可以看见在 林肯的胸前有一个 OWIC 。
But the cool thing is,
you could stare at this all day long and you would never see it.
It's invisible to the naked eye.
These OWICs are so small,
这些 OWIC 非常小，
and we make them in such parallel fashion,
that each OWIC costs actually less than a penny.
让每一个 OWIC 的成本不到一分钱。
In fact, the most expensive thing in this demo is that little sticker
that says "OWIC."
That cost about eight cents.
那贴纸花了我 8 分钱。
Now, we're very excited about these things for all sorts of reasons.
For example, we can use them as little tiny secure smart tags,
more identifying than a fingerprint.
We're actually putting them inside of other medical instruments
to give other information,
and even starting to think about putting them in the brain
to listen to neurons one at a time.
In fact, there's only one thing wrong with these OWICs:
实际上， 这些 OWIC 只有一个问题：
it's not a robot.
It's just a head.
And I think we'll all agree
that half a robot really isn't a robot at all.
Without the legs, we've got basically nothing.
MM: OK, so you need the legs, too, if you want to build a robot.
Now, here it turns out you can't just steal
some preexisting technology.
If you want legs for your tiny robot, you need actuators, parts that move.
They have to satisfy a lot of different requirements.
They need to be low voltage.
They need to be low power, too.
But most importantly, they have to be small.
If you want to build a cell-sized robot, you need cell-sized legs.
Now, nobody knows how to build that.
There was no preexisting technology that meets all of those demands.
To make our legs for our tiny robots,
we had to make something new.
So here's what we built.
This is one of our actuators, and I'm applying a voltage to it.
When I do, you can see the actuator respond by curling up.
Now, this might not look like much,
but if we were to put a red blood cell up on the screen, it'd be about that big,
so these are unbelievably tiny curls.
They're unbelievably small,
and yet this device can just bend and unbend, no problem, nothing breaks.
So how do we do it?
Well, the actuator is made from a layer of platinum
just a dozen atoms or so thick.
Now it turns out, if you take platinum and put it in water
and apply a voltage to it,
atoms from the water will attach or remove themselves
from the surface of the platinum,
depending on how much voltage you use.
This creates a force,
and you can use that force for voltage-controlled actuation.
The key here was to make everything ultrathin.
Then your actuator is flexible enough
to bend to these small sizes without breaking,
and it can use the forces that come about
from just attaching or removing a single layer of atoms.
Now, we don't have to build these one at a time, either.
In fact, just like the OWICs,
事实上，和 OWIC 一样，
we can build them massively in parallel as well.
So here's a couple thousand or so actuators,
and all I'm doing is applying a voltage,
and they all wave,
looking like nothing more than the legs of a future robot army.
So now we've got the brains and we've got the brawn.
We've got the smarts and the actuators.
The OWICs are the brains.
They give us sensors, they give us power supplies,
and they give us a two-way communication system via light.
The platinum layers are the muscle.
They're what's going to move the robot around.
Now we can take those two pieces, put them together
and start to build our tiny, tiny robots.
The first thing we wanted to build was something really simple.
This robot walks around under user control.
In the middle are some solar cells and some wiring attached to it.
That's the OWIC.
那是 OWIC 。
They're connected to a set of legs which have a platinum layer
and these rigid panels that we put on top
that tell the legs how to fold up, which shape they should take.
The idea is that by shooting a laser at the different solar cells,
you can choose which leg you want to move
and make the robot walk around.
Now, of course, we don't build those one at a time, either.
We build them massively in parallel as well.
We can build something like one million robots on a single four-inch wafer.
我们可以在一个 4 英寸的晶片上 制造 100 万个机器人。
So, for example, this image on the left, this is a chip,
and this chip has something like 10,000 robots on it.
这个晶片上就有 1 万个机器人。
Now, in our world, the macro world,
this thing looks like it might be a new microprocessor or something.
But if you take that chip and you put it under a microscope,
what you're going to see are thousands and thousands of tiny robots.
Now, these robots are still stuck down.
They're still attached to the surface that we built them on.
In order for them to walk around, we have to release them.
We wanted to show you how we do that live, how we release the robot army,
but the process involves highly dangerous chemicals,
like, really nasty stuff,
and we're like a mile from the White House right now?
而且我们现在距离白宫 也就 1 英里吧？
Yeah. They wouldn't let us do it.
so we're going to show you a movie instead. (Laughs)
What you're looking at here are the final stages of robot deployment.
We're using chemicals
to etch the substrate out from underneath the robots.
When it dissolves, the robots are free to fold up into their final shapes.
Now, you can see here, the yield's about 90 percent,
那么各位看这儿，这一批的 成功率大概是 90% ，
so almost every one of those 10,000 robots we build,
所以我们打造的近 1 万个机器人
that's a robot that we can deploy and control later.
And we can take those robots and we can put them places as well.
So if you look at the movie on the left, that's some robots in water.
I'm going to come along with a pipette,
and I can vacuum them all up.
Now when you inject the robots back out of that pipette,
they're just fine.
In fact, these robots are so small,
they're small enough to pass through the thinnest hypodermic needle
Yeah, so if you wanted to,
you could inject yourself full of robots.
I think they're into it.
On the right is a robot that we put in some pond water.
I want you to wait for just one second.
You see that? That was no shark. That was a paramecium.
So that's the world that these things live in.
OK, so this is all well and good,
but you might be wondering at this point,
"Well, do they walk?"
Right? That's what they're supposed to do. They better. So let's find out.
So here's the robot and here are its solar cells in the middle.
Those are those little rectangles.
I want you to look at the solar cell closest to the top of the slide.
See that little white dot? That's a laser spot.
Now watch what happens when we start switching that laser
between different solar cells on the robot.
Off goes the robot marching around the microworld.
Now, one of the things that's cool about this movie is:
I'm actually piloting the robot in this movie.
In fact, for six months, my job was to shoot lasers at tiny cell-sized robots
实际上， 6 个月来，我的工作就是 把激光投射在细胞大小的机器人上，
to pilot them around the microworld.
This was actually my job.
As far as I could tell, that is the coolest job in the world.
It was just the feeling of total excitement,
like you're doing the impossible.
It's a feeling of wonder like that first time I looked through a microscope
as a kid staring at that rotifer.
Now, I'm a dad, I have a son of my own, and he's about three years old.
现在，我是一位父亲， 有一个快 3 岁的儿子。
But one day, he's going to look through a microscope like that one.
And I often wonder:
What is he going to see?
Instead of just watching the microworld,
we as humans can now build technology to shape it,
to interact with it, to engineer it.
In 30 years, when my son is my age, what will we do with that ability?
等 30 年后，我儿子到了我的年纪， 我们又会怎样运用那种能力？
Will microrobots live in our bloodstream,
as common as bacteria?
Will they live on our crops and get rid of pests?
Will they tell us when we have infections, or will they fight cancer cell by cell?
PM: And one cool part is,
you're going to be able to participate in this revolution.
Ten years or so from now,
when you buy your new iPhone 15x Moto or whatever it's called --
当你买了新的 iPhone 15x Moto， 不管它叫啥——
it may come with a little jar with a few thousand tiny robots in it
that you can control by an app on your cell phone.
你可以用手机上的 app 来控制它们。
So if you want to ride a paramecium, go for it.
If you want to -- I don't know -- DJ the world's smallest robot dance party,
如果你想要成为 世界上的最小机器人舞会的 DJ ，
And I, for one, am very excited about that day coming.