May 23, 2017 - Technology

Scientists have created an artificial Venus flytrap

Keith Srakocic / AP

A group of scientists has created an artificial Venus flytrap using optical fiber and molecular switches that can hang onto objects hundreds of times heavier than itself, per New Scientist, — but it might look a little different than you're expecting.

The design: The artificial flytrap is just a few millimeters wide and less than a centimeter tall. It uses light from its optical fiber "stem" to reflect back from an object onto its molecular switch "leaves" to know when to snap shut.

A future use: These flytraps might be used in nano-production lines to pull out items with defects.

Nature still wins: The artificial flytrap takes 200 milliseconds to shut — double the reaction time of a real Venus flytrap.

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