Microbots Are Frighteningly Lifelike [Video]

These millimeter-long microbots can swim and move other, heavier objects. Made up of grouped microparticles and powered by magnets, they arrange into tiny little starbursts and kind of swim around… then, because they can, the microbots unhinge their jaws(?!) and grab non-magnetic objects and move them about. In fact, it’s eerily similar to watching a ciliate protazoan swim and eat. (Cue ominous music, note foreshadowing.)

If that isn’t creepy-awesome enough for you, the scientists at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory say that if they lose any particles,┬áthe “asters” can also reassemble themselves by shuffling their remaining parts back into shape.