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Locomotion of light-driven soft microrobots through a hydrogel via local melting

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Manipulation, Automation and Robotics at Small Scales, MARSS 2017 - Proceedings
ISBN (Electronic)9781538603468
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2017
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Manipulation, Automation and Robotics at Small Scales (MARSS) -
Duration: 1 Jan 2000 → …


ConferenceInternational Conference on Manipulation, Automation and Robotics at Small Scales (MARSS)
Period1/01/00 → …


Soft mobile microrobots whose deformation can be directly controlled by an external field can adapt to move in different environments. This is the case for the light-driven microrobots based on liquid-crystal elastomers (LCEs). Here we show that the soft microrobots can move through an agarose hydrogel by means of light-controlled travelling-wave motions. This is achieved by exploiting the inherent rise of the LCE temperature above the melting temperature of the agarose gel, which facilitates penetration of the microrobot through the hydrogel. The locomotion performance is investigated as a function of the travelling-wave parameters, showing that effective propulsion can be obtained by adapting the generated motion to the specific environmental conditions.


  • Hydrogels, Liquid-crystal elastomers (LCEs), Soft microrobots

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland