"MEMS" the Word in Microrobotics | The Institute for Creation Research

"MEMS" the Word in Microrobotics

Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are barely visible robots. Bruce Donald, a professor of computer science and biochemistry at Duke, has been working on microrobots since 1992. His team has designed a set of MEMS that, in his words, "constitutes the first implementation of an untethered, multi-microrobotic system."1

Professor Donald has been able to manufacture these remotely-controlled, preprogrammed tiny devices only after careful study of pre-existing biochemical technology. The devices perform pre-specified motions controlled by electrochemical impulses. Science News reports that this “is akin to ways proteins in cells respond to chemical signals, said Donald, who also uses computer algorithms to study processes in biochemistry and biology.”2

This accomplishment took a team of scientists 16 years to achieve. Although MEMS serve no functional purpose yet, either singly or in sets, we presume that Professor Donald is attempting to mimic aspects of proteins, which are similar in some respects to robots. A protein can catalyze specific biochemical reactions with reliable precision. The amazingly small and ingeniously-designed MEMS basically wiggles, albeit in a programmed pattern. Also, as small as it is, a MEMS is about 10,000 times larger than a protein.

Smaller devices require greater genius, which is easily seen by comparing the prices of laptops to desktop computers. Certainly this principle applies to the original Designer of proteins, which are the ultimate in miniaturization and specificity of function. The best came first. Extant proteins may have degraded since their creation, but even in their present state of decay, the gulf between the man-made and God-made is grand indeed.


  1. Micro-robots Dance on Something Smaller Than a Pin’s Head. Science News. Posted on ScienceDaily.com June 3, 2008, accessed June 4, 2008.
  2. Ibid.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer.

Article posted on June 6, 2008.

The Latest
Inside December 2021 Acts & Facts
How can we understand Christ’s role as our mediator from a scientific perspective? Why was ICR's first dinosaur excavation significant for...

Christ’s Providence Is Clearly Seen in Bird Migrations
Just as monkeys can’t accidently type Shakespeare texts, birds can’t migrate by evolutionary luck, despite imagined eons of time for “lucky”...

Creation Kids: Snowflakes
by Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

The Gift of God Himself
Each Christmas we remember how deeply God loves us. His wondrous plan of salvation—first set in motion in the Garden of Eden—was miraculously...

Early Land Plant Evolution?
In a recent Science article, two evolutionists consider land plants (embryophytes) to have evolved from stoneworts (charophyte algae).1 A...

Biblical Creation and Intellectual Foolishness
In a recent interview discussing his new book In Quest of the Historical Adam, philosopher and Christian apologist William Lane Craig acknowledged his...

Are Birds “Cousins” to Reptiles?
Are today’s birds genealogical “cousins” to today’s reptiles due to a shared evolutionary ancestry? No. However, birds and...

Haleakala National Park: One of Many Young-Looking Volcanoes
You can start the day atop the cold peak of Mt. Haleakala and end it on a warm beach on Maui. The sprawling volcanic mountain rises 10,000 feet above...

The Oceans Point to a Young Earth
by Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D.* Over 70% of Earth's surface is covered by water, most of which is marine and contained in...

Jesus Christ Is Our Perfect Mediator
We’ll never get bored throughout eternity. There is always something wonderfully new to learn about our precious Lord Jesus, the uplifting Holy...