Modelling, fabrication and characterization of tetherless magnetorheological soft robots



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Among the recently developed technologies aimed at minimally invasive medicine, magnetorheological robotics has been shown a great alternative for tetherless controllable devices. Literature review showed that physical models that focus on the configurations in which a tetherless soft magnetic robot is supported by a surface under the action of gravity and magnetic bending moment have not been done yet. The objective of this work is to develop a predictive model in order to identify the possible support configurations and overall shape a certain robot can assume during actuation. In this method, we first identify all possible support configurations that a beam-shaped robot can experience. Then, a systematically iterative approach is proposed to test these configurations so that the most likely one is identified. The algorithm is initially developed for simpler single contact cases and then extended for multiple contact patches as well. A contact configuration analysis is the starting point for a more involved dynamic model, and a critical step during the design stage of these robots and devices. In addition, we have developed an experimental method, in which several fundamental configurations are reproduced, so that they can serve as benchmarks for the simulation. By means of visual comparison, we concluded that our simulation results match the robotic behavior recorded in laboratory, thus corroborating with the theory developed. Lastly, we also demonstrated a novel methodology of magnetic actuation by means of modifying the material properties of soft magnetic actuators during the curing process.

Embargo status: Restricted until 09/2023. To request the author grant access, click on the PDF link to the left.



Soft Robotics, Magnetic Materials, Modelling and Simulation