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CAT 2021 Reading Comprehension Solution 09


Direction for Reading Comprehension: The passages given here are followed by some questions that have four answer choices; read the passage carefully and pick the option whose answer best aligns with the passage.

Back in the early 2000s, an awesome thing happened in the New X-Men comics. Our mutant heroes had been battling giant robots called Sentinels for years, but suddenly these mechanical overlords spawned a new threat: Nano-Sentinels! Not content to rule Earth with their metal fists, these tiny robots invaded our bodies at the microscopic level. Infected humans were slowly converted into machines, cell by cell.

Now, a new wave of extremely odd robots is making at least part of the Nano-Sentinels story come true. Using exotic fabrication materials like squishy hydrogels and elastic polymers, researchers are making autonomous devices that are often tiny and that could turn out to be more powerful than an army of Terminators. Some are 1-centimetre blobs that can skate overwater. Others are flat sheets that can roll themselves into tubes, or matchstick-sized plastic coils that act as powerful muscles. No, they won't be invading our bodies and turning us into Sentinels - which I personally find a little disappointing - but some of them could one day swim through our bloodstream to heal us. They could also clean up pollutants in water or fold themselves into different kinds of vehicles for us to drive. . . .

Unlike a traditional robot, which is made of mechanical parts, these new kinds of robots are made from molecular parts. The principle is the same: both are devices that can move around and do things independently. But a robot made from smart materials might be nothing more than a pink drop of hydrogel. Instead of gears and wires, it's assembled from two kinds of molecules - some that love water and some that avoid it - which interact to allow the bot to skate on top of a pond.

Sometimes these materials are used to enhance more conventional robots. One team of researchers, for example, has developed a different kind of hydrogel that becomes sticky when exposed to a low-voltage zap of electricity and then stops being sticky when the electricity is switched off. This putty-like gel can be pasted right onto the feet or wheels of a robot. When the robot wants to climb a sheer wall or scoot across the ceiling, it can activate its sticky feet with a few volts. Once it is back on a flat surface again, the robot turns off the adhesive like a light switch.

Robots that are wholly or partly made of gloop aren't the future that I was promised in science fiction. But it's definitely the future I want. I'm especially keen on the nanometre-scale "soft robots" that could one day swim through our bodies. Metin Sitti, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany, worked with colleagues to prototype these tiny, synthetic beasts using various stretchy materials, such as simple rubber, and seeding them with magnetic microparticles. They are assembled into a finished shape by applying magnetic fields. The results look like flowers or geometric shapes made from Tinkertoy ball and stick modelling kits. They're guided through tubes of fluid using magnets, and can even stop and cling to the sides of a tube.

Question: 1

Which one of the following scenarios, if false, could be seen as supporting the passage?

  1. Some hydrogels turn sticky when an electric current is passed through them; this potentially has very useful applications.

  2. Robots made from smart materials are likely to become part of our everyday lives in the future.

  3. Nano-Sentinel-like robots are likely to be used to inject people to convert them into robots, cell by cell.

  4. There are two kinds of molecules used to make some nano-robots: one that reacts positively to water and the other negatively.

Option: 3

To make this question easy you have to simplify it. Which of the following, if false, will support the passage=which of the following, if true, will weaken the passage.

So we have to just find the choice that will weaken the passage.

All choices 1,2 and 4 are there in the passage and are true to what the author says. 3 is not. The researchers don't intend to inject Nano sentinels to convert us into robots. This weakens the passage arguments.

Question: 2

Which one of the following statements, if true, would be the most direct extension of the arguments in the passage?

  1. In the future, robots will be used to search and destroy diseases even in the deepest recesses of the human body.

  2. X-Men may be created by injecting people with mutant nano-gels that will respond to the brain's magnetic field.

  3. Sentinel robots will be used in warfare to cause large-scale destructive mutations amongst civilians.

  4. 1-centimetre blobs of gel that have nano-robots in them will be used to send messages.

Option: 1

The question asks us to pick a choice that is the most direct extension of the arguments in the passage. To extend the passage logically, we have to carefully look at the contents of the last paragraph, which talks about Nano robots that could enter our bodies. Option 1 is a logical extension of this discussion. Option 2 is there in the first para. It cannot be logical extension of the last paragraph. 3 talks of destructive purpose, which is not consistent with the researchers' intention. Option 4 is a close choice, but not as close as 1.

Question: 3

Which one of the following statements best captures the sense of the first paragraph?

  1. The X-Men were mutant heroes who now had to battle tiny robots called Nano-Sentinels.

  2. People who were infected by Nano-Sentinel robots became mutants who were called X-Men.

  3. Tiny sentinels called X-Men infected people, turning them into mutant robot overlords.

  4. None of the options listed here.

Option: 1
This question is both less time consuming and easy to answer, because the clue to the right answer can be found in the first paragraph alone. Option 2 is factually incorrect because the infected people did not become X-Men. Option 3 is incorrect because it suggests that infected people became mutant robot overlords, something that is not correct as per the passage. Option 1 is the best choice.

Question: 4

Which one of the following statements best summarises the central point of the passage?

  1. Robots will use nano-robots on their feet and wheels to climb walls or move on ceilings.

  2. Once the stuff of science fiction, nano-robots now feature in cutting-edge scientific research.

  3. Nano-robots made from molecules that react to water have become increasingly useful.

  4. The field of robotics is likely to be feature more and more in comics like the New X-Men

Option: 2

This is a very easy question, and we have to understand the broader message of the passage to find the right answer. The passage starts with nano sentinels created by giant robots called Sentinels. These nano sentinels invade our bodies and convert us into machines, cell by cell.

The author says that researchers are working on something similar but for all the good reasons. He later goes on to discuss all the good reasons in the passage.

Option 2 becomes the right choice. Option 1 though true, is just a minor fact of the passage. Same goes with 3. Option 4 is totally irrelevant to the passage.

CAT 2021 RC passage with solution

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