A nanoscale robot. "Autonomous" nanorobots have their own nanoscale computers built in, while "insect" nanorobots are deployed in groups and are controlled by a central computer.
Fixing One Cell at a Time
In the future, scientists at Rutgers University believe that nanorobots will be injected into the bloodstream and administer a drug directly to an infected cell. This nanorobot has a carbon nanotube body, a biomolecular motor that propels it and peptide limbs to orient itself. Because it is composed of biological elements such as DNA and proteins, it will be easily removed from the body. For more information, see http://bionano.rutgers.edu/Mavroidis_Final_Report.pdf. (Image courtesy of the Bio-Nano Robotics team at Rutgers University: Constantinos Mavroidis, Martin L. Yarmush, Atul Dubey, Angela Thornton, Kevin Nikitczuk, Silvina Tomassone, Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos and Bernie Yurke.)