ICRA'09 Paper Abstract


Paper FrC9.5

Martel, Sylvain (Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal (EPM)), Andre, Walder (École Polytechnique de Montréal,), Mohammadi, Mahmood (Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal (EPM)), Lu, Zhao (Ecole Polytechnique of Montreal), Felfoul, Ouajdi (Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal (EPM))

Towards Swarms of Communication-Enabled and Intelligent Sensotaxis-Based Bacterial Microrobots Capable of Collective Tasks in an Aqueous Medium

Scheduled for presentation during the Regular Sessions "Micro/Nano Robotics - III" (FrC9), Friday, May 15, 2009, 14:50−15:10, Room: 501

2009 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 12 - 17, 2009, Kobe, Japan

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on January 24, 2022

Keywords Micro/Nano Robots, Cellular and Modular Robots


Experimental data are used to show the feasibility of providing the basic components and functionalities required for the implementation of intelligent untethered 150 × 300µm bacterial microrobots capable of sophisticated collective tasks under computer coordination. More specifically, we show that it is possible to embed within such microrobots, photovoltaic cells supplying ~4µW necessary to power an internal microelectronic circuit providing the capability to communicate data wirelessly. We also show that such data could be used to instruct an external computer to send a swarm of flagellated bacteria to move such microrobots towards a specific target based on various information acquired with specific embedded sensors. Similar to chemotaxis used by several species of flagellated bacteria, the algorithms used to move such microrobots could be governed by a larger range of sensory means, leading to what we refer to here as sensotaxis-based hybrid microrobots. The possibility of transmitting a request to a central computer to send a swarm of magnetotactic bacteria to provide propulsion in order to move accurately to desired locations would allow such microrobots to perform collective tasks. A simple example suggesting this possibility is demonstrated experimentally where a microstructure emulating a V-shaped microrobot is moved and rotated autonomously using a swarm of ~3000 bacteria towards another similar V-shaped microstructure to form the character ‘M’ as in Microrobot.



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