Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Thursday, December 06, 2001

China Develops World's Thinnest Ultrasonic Motor

Mini robots moving freely in human veins, a scene sometimes featured in science fiction movies, may really happen soon, thanks to the successful development of the world thinnest ultrasonic motor by Chinese scientists. The white cylindrical motor, developed by China's prestigious Qinghua University, is 5-millimeter long and weighs 36 mg. Its diameter is only one millimeter. The mini motor can be used in medical applications, bioscience and national defense.


When the motor is dragged by peripheral leads, its head circumrotates with the base vibrating rhythmically, sources said Wednesday.

Useful Means to Explore Microcosmic Activities

Professor Zhou Tieying, head of the research project, says that the development will allow human beings more freedom to explore microcosmic activities.

High-tech facilities Equipped

All construction work on the motor was conducted under high-powered microscopes, according to Zhou.

The motor is made of piezoelectric ceramics , its cylindrical surface is painted silver and filtered in after polarization.

Powerful Functions of New Technology

  • Diagnosis of Digestive Diseases

  • Fu Donghong, a doctor from the Beijing University Hospital, said that the new technology will greatly help in the diagnosis of digestive diseases, clear blocked blood vessels and even possibly insert medicines directly into pathological areas.

  • Medical Treatment

  • Medical treatment is now being more and more closely linked with cutting-edge technologies, which enable cures and treatments to be conducted inside human bodies, saving patients from painful operations.

  • Surgical Operations

  • If equipped with a scalpel and camera, the new technology can be directly used in surgical operations, said Fu.

  • National Defense

  • In addition to possible medical applications, the mini motor can also be used in bioscience and national defense. Mini recorders can be fitted into a pencil and small planes, and submarines can be powered by the newly developed motor.

    Further Achievement to Be Made

    Developers say that industrialization of the technology still takes time. They are now extensively researching mini motors with diameters of less than 0.5 millimeter.

    "Future application of the technology will be beyond our imagination," said Zhou.


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