ROLES OF MAGNETIC STRENGTH IN MAGNETO-ELASTOMER TOWARDS SWIMMING MECHANISM AND PERFORMANCE OF MINIATURE ROBOTS

Laliphat Manamanchaiyaporn, Tiantian Xu, Xinyu Wu, and Huihuan Qian

Keywords

Magneto-elastic actuator, soft-robotics, nano-/micro-robotics, magnetic manipulation

Abstract

Magneto-elastic-miniature robots are appealing for navigation in unstructured environments with minimal control. Their magnetic property consists of orientation and strength. In previous studies, only magnetic orientation functions robots for mobility in fluid by magnetic alignment with actuating field. However, roles of magnetic strength have not been detailed. Here, millimetre-scaled robots are developed by employing geometric shapes to obtain non-uniform strength over the whole volume, and investigation into feasibility of this property towards swimming mechanism is conducted. First, the asymmetric-H robot containing high and low magnetic strength achieves swimming in viscous fluid by flapping an unsymmetrical body driven by oscillating field. Next, each of lateral-undulation-inspired robots is configured by distinguishable magnetic property based on non-/uniform strength and uni-/multipolar orientation, and their swimming performance is compared. Each property provides benefit and mechanism differently. The multipolar-based robot aligns its body with a low magnitude of magnetic field for propulsion, but another with non-uniform strength relies on the flap of its high-strength region to swim and benefits operation at high frequency even at the step-out point approached. Another embedded by both properties contributes the most efficient and manoeuvrable swimming. The studies report that magnetic strength is a critical factor and solely applied to swimming robots as reliable and effective mechanism to serve medical purposes, especially when the scale is down to sub-millimetre or less.

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