Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have created a nanomachine which can ensnare molecules as they move and could potentially lead to lasers moving objects remotely.
The light-powered machine has a device inside it that traps molecule-sized particles as they move in a certain direction under their natural motion. Once the molecules are caught they cannot escape.
Applications of the nanotechnology machine could include trapping molecules to generate a force in front of a solid object using a laser pen. By shining the pen in the direction you want the object to move, the force of the molecules could be harnessed to push the object along.
The invention of the nanotechnology machine builds on previous work at the university in which scientists were able to move a droplet of liquid up a slope using molecular force.