Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, seemingly oblivious to the fact that technology is exponentially outpacing our ability to keep up with it, have created a new breed of levitating micro-machines.

Worse still, these malignant Micro Machines are armed with tiny pincers that open and close when they are heated by, wait for it, a laser.

The researchers claim this discovery will lead to better toxic waste cleanup:

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"Since there is no wiring, and the robot freely floats in air, it can operate in an enclosed chamber while the whole setup is outside," wrote U of W professor Mir Behrad Khamesee. "It can work in hazardous environments, toxic chambers, and it can be used to conduct bio-hazardous experiments. Also, since there is no mechanical linkage, it has a dust-free operation, suitable for clean room applications."

Right, until these little critters spawn some artificial intelligence, take a look at the planet, and decide "toxic waste" means "mankind." [ZDNet]