Colloidal robotics

Albert Tianxiang Liu, Marek Hempel, Jing Fan Yang, Allan M. Brooks, Ana Pervan, Volodymyr B. Koman, Ge Zhang, Daichi Kozawa, Sungyun Yang, Daniel I. Goldman, Marc Z. Miskin, Andréa W. Richa, Dana Randall, Todd D. Murphey, Tomás Palacios*, Michael S. Strano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Robots have components that work together to accomplish a task. Colloids are particles, usually less than 100 µm, that are small enough that they do not settle out of solution. Colloidal robots are particles capable of functions such as sensing, computation, communication, locomotion and energy management that are all controlled by the particle itself. Their design and synthesis is an emerging area of interdisciplinary research drawing from materials science, colloid science, self-assembly, robophysics and control theory. Many colloidal robot systems approach synthetic versions of biological cells in autonomy and may find ultimate utility in bringing these specialized functions to previously inaccessible locations. This Perspective examines the emerging literature and highlights certain design principles and strategies towards the realization of colloidal robots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1453-1462
Number of pages10
JournalNature materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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