Spinning-enabled Wireless Amphibious Origami Millirobot

03/18/2022
by   Qiji Ze, et al.
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Wireless millimeter-scale origami robots that can locomote in narrow spaces and morph their shapes have recently been explored with great potential for biomedical applications. Existing millimeter-scale origami devices usually require separate geometrical components for locomotion and functions, which increases the complexity of the robotic systems and their operation upon limited locomotion modes. Additionally, none of them can achieve both on-ground and in-water locomotion. Here we report a magnetically actuated amphibious origami millirobot that integrates capabilities of spinning-enabled multimodal locomotion, controlled delivery of liquid medicine, and cargo transportation with wireless operation. This millirobot takes full advantage of the geometrical features and folding/unfolding capability of Kresling origami, a triangulated hollow cylinder, to fulfill multifunction: its geometrical features are exploited for generating omnidirectional locomotion in various working environments, including on unstructured ground, in liquids, and at air-liquid interfaces through rolling, flipping, and spinning-induced propulsion; the folding/unfolding is utilized as a pumping mechanism for integrated multifunctionality such as controlled delivery of liquid medicine; furthermore, the spinning motion provides a sucking mechanism for targeted solid cargo transportation. This origami millirobot breaks the conventional way of utilizing origami folding only for shape reconfiguration and integrates multiple functions in one simple body. We anticipate the reported magnetic amphibious origami millirobots have the potential to serve as minimally invasive devices for biomedical diagnoses and treatments.

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