Soft Microrobots

Loading Physical Intelligence Department

Objectives:

Microrobots, specifically magnetic microrobots, have traditionally been made from rigid materials. However, deformable microrobots can access small spaces while allowing for a large microrobot volume with which to deploy drugs, sensors, or manipulators. Composite magnetic soft materials are also able to deform to adapt to their environment or as a means of propulsion.

Past Members:

Eric Diller

Jiang Zhuang

Project Members:

Zhou Ye

Hamid Marvi

Guo Zhan Lum

Onder Erin

Selected Research Results and Papers

Continuously Distributed Magnetization Profile for Millimeter-Scale Elastomeric Undulatory Swimming

We have developed a millimeter-scale magnetically driven swimming robot for untethered motion at mid to low Reynolds numbers. The robot is propelled by continuous undulatory deformation, which is enabled by the distributed magnetization profile of a flexible sheet. We demonstrate control of a prototype device and measure deformation and speed as a function of magnetic field strength and frequency. Experimental results are compared with simple magnetoelastic and fluid propulsion models. The presented mechanism provides an efficient remote actuation method at the millimeter scale that may be suitable for further scaling down in size for microrobotics applications in biotechnology and healthcare

E. Diller*, J. Zhuang*, G. Lum, M. Edwards, and M. Sitti, "Continuously Distributed Magnetization Profile for Millimeter-Scale Elastomeric Undulatory Swimming," Applied Physics Letters, vol. 104, no. 174101. *equally contributing authors. http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4874306

Selected Video

Funding Agency

Soft Microrobots

Continuously Distributed Magnetization Profile for Millimeter-Scale Elastomeric Undulatory Swimming

National Robotics Initiative

(NRI)

List of Publications

Continuously distributed magnetization profile for millimeter-scale elastomeric undulatory swimming

E Diller, J Zhuang, GZ Lum, MR Edwards, M Sitti

Applied Physics Letters 104 (17), 174101