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Teams of Magnetic Microrobots for Distributed Manipulation and Assembly
with Eric Diller, Ph.D. Candidate
Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

January 24, 2013
10 a.m.
ERC 490
View seminar flier

Micro-scale mobile robots, under 1mm in size, have unparalleled promise to physically access small spaces in a versatile and non-invasive manner. They have potential applications for object manipulation, local sensing and cargo delivery in healthcare, microfluidics and micro-scale factories. These devices are powered and controlled remotely using externally-applied magnetic fields for motion in 2-D and 3-D. These microrobots are small in size and inexpensive to fabricate in bulk; however, effective and scalable methods do not exist to address teams of such micro-actuators. This seminar will focus on continuing research into two different addressing methods for magnetic microrobots, namely dynamic addressing and the use of smart addressable magnetic materials. The talk will briefly introduce the challenges unique to mobile robotics at the micro-scale, followed by the concepts and theory of these new magnetic addressing methods. It will then cover the latest experimental results for teams of microrobots and their applications in manipulation and assembly at the micro-scale. The talk will conclude with discussion of the future directions in microrobotics research.

Eric Diller received his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in 2009. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He has performed research on micro-scale robotics, wall-climbing robots and bio-inspired novel locomotion systems. His current work focuses on fabrication and control relating to remote actuation of micro-scale devices using magnetic fields, micro-scale robotic manipulation, smart materials and swimming at low Reynolds number. He received first place in the NIST Mobile Microrobotics Microassembly Challenge in 2012 and has also received the G. Sundback Graduate Fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University.

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