Technical Brief

A Stepping Microrobot Controlled by Flow Oscillations

[+] Author and Article Information
Takuji Ishikawa

Department of Bioengineering and Robotics,
Tohoku University,
Sendai 980-8579, Japan
e-mail: ishikawa@pfsl.mech.tohoku.ac.jp

V. A. Vladimirov

Department of Mathematics,
University of York,
Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received June 18, 2014; final manuscript received January 18, 2015; published online March 27, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Kwang-Yong Kim.

J. Fluids Eng 137(8), 084501 (Aug 01, 2015) (3 pages) Paper No: FE-14-1318; doi: 10.1115/1.4029840 History: Received June 18, 2014; Revised January 18, 2015; Online March 27, 2015

A self-locomotive microrobot can be a key technology for medical applications, manufacturing, or micro total analysis systems (μTAS). Although previous studies have mostly used magnetic, electric, chemical, or optical forces to control microrobots, we utilized flow oscillations. The results showed that the locomotion of the microrobot was stepwise near a wall when the oscillations were applied both horizontally and vertically. The most efficient microrobot was capable of propelling itself about 2×10-3 times its radius during one oscillation period. These results illustrate that the proposed stepping microrobot has great potential for future applications.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of the problem. The triangles on the spheres show the computational mesh used in the BEM. A solid wall exists at z = 0, and the gravitational direction is z.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Behaviors of the microrobot near a wall (a2/a1 = 0.4,L0/a1 = 0.4,k/(a1ωμ) = 1 and g/a1ω2 = 0.1): (a) attitude of the microrobot at tω = 2πn, where n is an integer number; (b) trajectories of R1,R2, and Rg during one cycle. The red arrow indicates the rotational direction; (c) change in the x and z components of Rg with respect to time.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Effect of various parameters on the locomotion velocity: (a) effect of a2/a1(L0/a1 = 0.4,k/(μa1ω) = 1,g/(a1ω2) = 0.1), (b) effect of L0/a1(a2/a1 = 0.4,k/(μa1ω) = 1,g/(a1ω2) = 0.1), (c) effect of k/(a1ωμ)(a2/a1 = 0.4,L0/a1 = 0.4,g/(a1ω2) = 0.1), and (d) effect of g∕a1ω2(a2/a1 = 0.4,L0/a1 = 0.4,k/(μa1ω) = 1)



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