Project Title

Parametric Study of Soft Millirobot in a Rotating Magnetic Field for Controllable Corkscrew Motion

Academic department under which the project should be listed

SPCEET - Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dal Hyung Kim

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Untethered small-scale robots have many applications in bioengineering fields, and recently we designed and characterized the types of motion of a millimeter-scale, magnetoelastic robot within distinct frequency ranges of a controllable, non-uniform magnetic field in a 3-axis Helmholtz coil. The robot has a rectangular shape with constant width and height, and its length is composed of a nonmagnetic polymer (tail) section and magnetic polymer (head) section. The head section is magnetized at a desired angle so that when submerged and inside of the Helmholtz coil, magnetic torque will propel it in the forward direction. This creates a corkscrew motion with high controllability and speed, which is at a maximum when the rotational frequency of the robot and the magnetic field are in sync. The objective of this study was to optimize control of the corkscrew motion and define a relationship between its forward velocity and control parameters, namely the rotating magnetic field’s frequency and strength. Additionally, we seek to quantify the effects of fabrication parameters, robot shape, and ratio of material sections. An infrared camera positioned above the robot container was used to capture its planar trajectories for a wide range of control parameters, and these images were used to obtain velocity data reflecting how well the robot is controlled. This data was also used to compare with simulations in COMSOL. The results of this study will be used to predict ideal control parameters for other soft millirobot designs and develop a model of larval zebrafish swimming behaviors.

Disciplines

Applied Mechanics | Electromagnetics and Photonics

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, synchronously via Teams

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Parametric Study of Soft Millirobot in a Rotating Magnetic Field for Controllable Corkscrew Motion

Untethered small-scale robots have many applications in bioengineering fields, and recently we designed and characterized the types of motion of a millimeter-scale, magnetoelastic robot within distinct frequency ranges of a controllable, non-uniform magnetic field in a 3-axis Helmholtz coil. The robot has a rectangular shape with constant width and height, and its length is composed of a nonmagnetic polymer (tail) section and magnetic polymer (head) section. The head section is magnetized at a desired angle so that when submerged and inside of the Helmholtz coil, magnetic torque will propel it in the forward direction. This creates a corkscrew motion with high controllability and speed, which is at a maximum when the rotational frequency of the robot and the magnetic field are in sync. The objective of this study was to optimize control of the corkscrew motion and define a relationship between its forward velocity and control parameters, namely the rotating magnetic field’s frequency and strength. Additionally, we seek to quantify the effects of fabrication parameters, robot shape, and ratio of material sections. An infrared camera positioned above the robot container was used to capture its planar trajectories for a wide range of control parameters, and these images were used to obtain velocity data reflecting how well the robot is controlled. This data was also used to compare with simulations in COMSOL. The results of this study will be used to predict ideal control parameters for other soft millirobot designs and develop a model of larval zebrafish swimming behaviors.

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