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(a) Top-down schematic of four microrobots, A, B, C, and D, demonstrating coupled and decoupled motion. Each square in the grid represents an independently controlled electrostatic anchoring pad. The coil is enabled, causing robots to orient in the direction. Robots A and C are anchored to the surface and do not translate. Robots B and D translate in the -direction; robot D is anchored after traversing one pad. (b) A free body diagram of an anchored magnetic microrobot experiencing an electrostatic anchoring force , its weight , magnetic forces and , magnetic torque , static friction force , reactive normal force , and an adhesive force due to surface effects. denotes the magnetization vector of the microrobot. The anchoring and coils are active. The composition of the substrate is also displayed; and denote the relative voltage across the electrodes.
Robot velocity vs electrostatic anchoring voltage for a microrobot on a SU-8 layer. A critical voltage of 240 V is required to affix the microrobot. Videos of the motion were recorded and analyzed to determine velocities. A pulsing frequency of 20 Hz was used for translation. Each data point represents three measurements.
An experiment demonstrating multimicrorobot control. In (a), robot R1 (green) moves while robot R2 (red) is fixed. In (b), R2 moves while R1 is fixed. In (c), both robots move together. In (d), a plot of the displacement vs time for each microrobot is shown, with regions i, ii, and iii corresponding to the motions in (a), (b), and (c), respectively. Each image in (a)–(c) represents an 8.6 mm wide by 6.3 mm tall area. An SU-8 thickness of is used, with an anchoring voltage of 260 V. The cross near the middle is the electrical separation between the four anchoring pads. A pulsing frequency of 20 Hz is used for translation.
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