Robotics: Science and Systems XV

A Magnetically-Actuated Untethered Jellyfish-Inspired Soft Milliswimmer

Ziyu Ren, Tianlu Wang, Wenqi Hu, Metin Sitti


Untethered small-scale soft robots can potentially be used in healthcare and biomedical applications. They can access small spaces and reshape their bodies in a programmable manner to adapt to unstructured environments and have diverse dynamic behaviors. However, the functionalities of current miniature soft robots are limited, restricting their applications in medical procedures. Taking the advantage of the shape-programmable ability of magnetic soft composite materials, here we propose an untethered soft millirobot (jellyfishbot) that can swim like a jellyfish by time- and trajectory-asymmetric up and down beating of its lappets. Its swimming speed and direction can be controlled by tuning the magnitude, frequency, and direction of the external oscillating magnetic field. We demonstrate that such jellyfishbot can perform several tasks that could be useful towards medical applications, such as delivering drugs, clogging a narrow tube or vessel, and patching a target area under ultrasound imaging-based guiding. The millirobot presented in this paper could be used inside organs filled with fluids completely, such as a bladder or inflated stomach.



    AUTHOR    = {Ziyu Ren AND Tianlu Wang AND Wenqi Hu AND Metin Sitti}, 
    TITLE     = {A Magnetically-Actuated Untethered Jellyfish-Inspired Soft Milliswimmer}, 
    BOOKTITLE = {Proceedings of Robotics: Science and Systems}, 
    YEAR      = {2019}, 
    ADDRESS   = {FreiburgimBreisgau, Germany}, 
    MONTH     = {June}, 
    DOI       = {10.15607/RSS.2019.XV.013}