Shrinking Robots!

NISE Network product
"Shrinking Robots!" explores the possibility of nanobots. Visitors learn what a robot is and how small real robots are today. They also learn that nanobots don't exist (yet) and consider some of the challenges in creating nano-sized robots. In the second part of the program, visitors design and build a robot toy from recycled and craft materials.


Big Idea

Right now, nanobots don't exist. There are many challenges related to creating a nano-sized robot.

Learning Goals

A robot is a machine that can sense, plan, and act.

The smallest robots that exist today are the size of the width of a human hair.

Nano is very, very small.

Nanobots (nano-sized robots) would be robots as small as cells or molecules.

Nanobots don't exist today.

There are significant challenges related to building, powering, and controlling nanoscale robots.

Nanotechnology means working at small size scales, manipulating materials to exhibit new properties.

No one knows what nanoscale research may discover, or how it may be applied.

Nano Content Map
Nanoscience, nanotechnology, and nanoengineering lead to new knowledge and innovations that weren't possible before.



Developed for the NISE Network with funding from the National Science Foundation under Award Numbers 0532536 and 0940143. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.


Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 United States (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 US).
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Development Process
NISE Network products are developed through an iterative collaborative process that includes scientific review, peer review, and visitor evaluation in accordance with an inclusive audiences approach. Products are designed to be easily edited and adapted for different audiences under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. To learn more, visit our Development Process page.