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Robotic Arm Developed to Support Quantum Research

Cross-disciplinary approach was inspired by precision surgical robots

John Potter

November 28, 2023

1 Min Read
A robotic arm wielding a permanent magnet is used to navigate optomechanical assemblies
A robotic arm wielding a permanent magnet is used to navigate optomechanical assembliesUniversity of Bristol

Researchers at the University of Bristol's Quantum Engineering Technology Labs and Bristol Robotics Laboratory have developed a robotic arm designed to support advancements in quantum research.

The robotic arm aims to enhance the precision and efficiency of quantum experiments that have the potential to revolutionize various fields, including healthcare and space exploration.

It can operate in the harsh and closely-controlled environments quantum experiments demand, including super-low temperatures, atomic-scale interactions and precisely aligned laser beams. By integrating robotic capabilities into these experiments, scientists can explore quantum properties with newfound speed, precision and resilience.

"We couldn’t have performed this experiment using standard lab components, so we decided to look into robotics,” said University of Bristol senior research associate Joe Smith.

“We’ve shown that robotic arms are mature enough to navigate very complex settings. We’re very keen for this technology

 to improve all sorts of quantum sensing experiments, and hopefully leading to these experiments leaving the quantum optics lab and finding further useful applications, like in cell diagnostics.”

The inspiration for using the robotic arm originated from the field of surgery, where robots have gained recognition for their precision in navigating intricate anatomical structures.

Related:Flying Cars Meet Quantum Computing

University of Bristol associate professor specializing in photonic quantum engineering Krishna Coimbatore Balram said of the cross-disciplinary approach: “This work demonstrates the importance of bringing developments from other fields, in this case robotics, to advance quantum technologies.”

This article first appeared on IoT World Today's sister site, Enter Quantum.

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