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Automating the Motion of a Rolling Microrobot In Cluttered Environments


S. Charreyron

Master Thesis, FS14 (10366)

Microrobotics presents itself as an exciting and growing field involving the development of mobile, autonomous, or semi-autonomous tools for simplifying humanperformed tasks at scales that cannot be perceived by the human eye. The di↵erent balances of forces at such small sizes make for a particular set of constraints on the locomotion, actuation, perception, and fabrication of such microscopic tools. They show great potential for a number of biomedical applications including minimallyinvasive surgical procedures, targeted drug delivery, cell and living organism characterization, but also micromachining or harvesting microscopic crystals. Being a branch of robotics, microrobotics implies a certain intelligence of devices, aiding human operators in performing difficult tasks or even replacing operators altogether. In a review of the literature, it is concluded that research on device automation has thus far been limited, particularly for a class of robots which present themselves as efficient in locomotion and manipulation at such scales. We show that thankfully, several tools developed over the years in the robotics community could also benefit the automation task in microrobotics. In this work, we propose a holistic system for automating the motion of a particular rolling microrobot design in cluttered environments. Cluttered environments - or environments containing a large number of obstacles which hinder the movement of a robot - have so far not been considered in microrobotics. The system is designed to be reusable for a number of microrobot designs and applications. In a set of experiments, we show that devices can precisely be navigated through difficult environments with no human intervention. The modular system developed in this thesis could serve as a platform on which real applications, which call for autonomous mobile microrobots, could be built.


Type of Publication:

(12)Diploma/Master Thesis

J. Lygeros

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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@PhdThesis { Xxx:2014:IFA_4868
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