New research from the Chinese University of Hong Kong reveals nanbots - which are made up of millions of magnetic nanoparticles - are able to change their form to match whatever environment they're interacting with, meaning they can now assist in medical situations.
Assosciate professor Zhang Li from the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering and his team used a magnetic field to control the movements of their nanobots, and implemented swarm behaviours, inspired by birds and fish.
According to the research - the findings of which were published in Nature Communications - they can extend, split, shrink and merge in their swarm.
Zhang said: "Nano-robot swarms can be programmed to help surgeons conduct complex tasks such as passing through tiny spaces in the human body."
Researchers added that the method could also be used for treatments such as targeted drug delivery, eye surgeries and cancer therapies.