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Soft continuous microrobots with multiple intrinsic degrees of freedom

2016

Conference Paper

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One of the main challenges in the development of microrobots, i.e. robots at the sub-millimeter scale, is the difficulty of adopting traditional solutions for power, control and, especially, actuation. As a result, most current microrobots are directly manipulated by external fields, and possess only a few passive degrees of freedom (DOFs). We have reported a strategy that enables embodiment, remote powering and control of a large number of DOFs in mobile soft microrobots. These consist of photo-responsive materials, such that the actuation of their soft continuous body can be selectively and dynamically controlled by structured light fields. Here we use finite-element modelling to evaluate the effective number of DOFs that are addressable in our microrobots. We also demonstrate that by this flexible approach different actuation patterns can be obtained, and thus different locomotion performances can be achieved within the very same microrobot. The reported results confirm the versatility of the proposed approach, which allows for easy application-specific optimization and online reconfiguration of the microrobot's behavior. Such versatility will enable advanced applications of robotics and automation at the micro scale.

Author(s): Palagi, S. and Mark, A. G. and Melde, K. and Zeng, H. and Parmeggiani, C. and Martella, D. and Wiersma, D. S. and Fischer, P.
Book Title: 2016 International Conference on Manipulation, Automation and Robotics at Small Scales (MARSS)
Pages: 1-5
Year: 2016
Month: July
Day: 22

Department(s): Micro, Nano, and Molecular Systems
Bibtex Type: Conference Paper (inproceedings)

DOI: 10.1109/MARSS.2016.7561722

BibTex

@inproceedings{7561722,
  title = {Soft continuous microrobots with multiple intrinsic degrees of freedom},
  author = {Palagi, S. and Mark, A. G. and Melde, K. and Zeng, H. and Parmeggiani, C. and Martella, D. and Wiersma, D. S. and Fischer, P.},
  booktitle = {2016 International Conference on Manipulation, Automation and Robotics at Small Scales (MARSS)},
  pages = {1-5},
  month = jul,
  year = {2016},
  month_numeric = {7}
}