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. 2019 Oct 18;10(1):4751.
doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12679-4.

On-demand Orbital Maneuver of Multiple Soft Robots via Hierarchical Magnetomotility

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Free PMC article

On-demand Orbital Maneuver of Multiple Soft Robots via Hierarchical Magnetomotility

Sukyoung Won et al. Nat Commun. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Magnetic soft robots facilitate the battery-free remote control of soft robots. However, parallel control of multiple magnetic robots is challenging due to interference between robots and difficult maneuvers. Here we present the orbital maneuvering of manifold magnetic soft robots. Magneto-induced motion (magnetomotility) that includes the hierarchy of rotation and resultant revolution allows for the independent control of the robot's velocity and orbital radius. The soft robot achieves a speed of 60 body length (BL) s-1, which is approximately 50, 000 times faster with 1/7 the weight of the current lightest legged soft robot. The hierarchical magnetomotility is suitable for versatile locomotion such as stairs and uphill climbing, underwater and above water swimming. Owing to their swimming functionality, a swarm of such soft robots is capable of transportation of cargo. On-demand orbital maneuvering of magnetic soft robots provides a new methodology for concurrent actuation of multiple robots exhibiting collective behaviors.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no competing interests.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Facile construction of orbiting spinbots. a Digital image of 3D helical architecture generated from TPU-iron oxide nanocomposite film. b 3D micro-CT image of thermally treated helical nanocomposites (left) and TEM micrograph showing nanoscale dispersion of magnetic nanoparticles in TPU matrix (right). c Orbital maneuver of the spinbots via magnetic rotation. The spinbot rotates once clockwise for each magnetic rotation dependent on time Δt from initial position at ti, revolving counterclockwise at equilibrium state. d Simulation of magnetic flux density involving two ferrite magnets with non-magnetic yoke of the magnetic stirrer. e Reversible control of orbital radius dependent on rotational speed
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Regulation of orbital radius and velocity via rotational magnetomotility. a Evolution of three rotational modes of AR-2 amid half turn rotation upon magnetic speed manipulation. b Transferable orbital maneuver in a two-body system, including overlaid images (top) and y-axis displacement (bottom). c Time-lapsed trajectory showing that a faster spinbot catches up to a slightly slower spinbot via 27 orbital motions (top). The solid line in the graph refers to y = R sin(θ), when R is the average orbital radius of the spinbots and θ is the radian over time (bottom)
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Maneuverability and adaptability of the agile spinbot. a, b Orbital radius control of the single spinbot (a) and three soft robots with different AR (b). Open symbols indicate non-uniformly revolving motions. c, d Conformal navigation of the single spinbot through various boundary conditions such as rectangular, diagonal, and circular edges (c) and two spinbots through two linear barriers (d) at 1040 r.p.m. e Phase diagram for three rotational modes. The fastest velocity of the spinbot is 42 mm s−1 in the tumbling mode. f Velocity normalized by the body length of the agile spinbot, walking soft robots, walking rigid robots, and living organisms. All error bars represent the standard deviation (n = 3)
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
Multifunctionality of 3D helical spinbots. ac Time-lapsed images of the revolving spinbots for 0.2 s. a Stepping AR-3 at 1040 r.p.m. b AR-3 climbing uphill at 1040 r.p.m. and overcoming slips by frictional force. c Underwater swimming of AR-2 at 1420 r.p.m. d Concurrent swimming motions of underwater AR-2 with an orbital period of 4 s and above water AR-3 with an orbital period of 19 s at 1200 r.p.m. The dot line is a guide of AR-2 tumbling on substrate. e Orbital maneuver of the amphibious spinbot in the case of AR-2 at 1580 r.p.m.
Fig. 5
Fig. 5
Multiple soft robots exhibiting collective behavior. a Ten spinbots actuated on the ground. b Underwater swimming of 37 spinbots actuated on the ground. c Underwater navigation of the single spinbot to a target gastric ulcer in the anatomical model of the stomach, for 20 s (1040 r.p.m.) and d multiple soft robots (1580 r.p.m.) through shifting axis of in-plane rotating magnets. e Transportation of cargo through collective motion of the spinbots above water as the axis of rotating magnets moves downward at a velocity of 2.3 cm s−1 (1040 r.p.m.)

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