Chair of Applied Structural Mechanics

Fabrication and modeling of microscopic robots

Mussel-shaped micro-robots could be very interesting for medical technology because, for example, they can take up a drug, transport it to a target in the human body and release it there. 

The Institute of Applied Structural Mechanics develops and tests structures and mechanisms for the locomotion and control of microscopic robots. Various closing and opening mechanisms as well as locomotion mechanisms are tested on microscopic and macroscopic prototypes. The microscopic prototypes are produced by laser lithography in cooperation with the AG von Freymann, the macroscopic prototypes are cast into moulds. Iron particles can also be embedded, which can then be controlled via a magnetic field. 

The microscopic robots are to be controlled by heat. If, for example, different process settings are used for the mussel shells of the robot generated by laser lithography, the coefficients of thermal expansion can be changed. Consequently, the two mussel shells expand differently when the temperature increases, which can be used for the opening mechanism. 

For the future implementation of the control mechanisms, the rheological and thermoelastic properties of the materials, the manufacturing methods and movement mechanisms of the prototypes as well as the control of the magnetic fields will be investigated.

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