A Snake-Inspired Multi-Segmented Magnetic Soft Robot towards Medical Applications

Chen Wang, Venkata Rithwick Puranam, S. Misra, V. Kalpathy Venkiteswaran*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)


Magnetically-actuated soft robots have potential for medical application but require further innovation on functionality and biocompatibility. In this letter, a multi-segmented snake-inspired soft robot with dissolvable and biocompatible segments is designed. The actuation response under external magnetic field is investigated through simulations and experiments. A dissolve-controllable mixture of gelatin, glycerol and water (GGW) in a mass ratio of 1:5:6 is used to form the structure of the robot. The dissolution of GGW in water and mucus is tested. Magnetic cubes made of silicone rubber mixed with ferromagnetic particles are used to achieve snake-like motion under the influence of a rotating magnetic field. The motion of the robot is tested under different magnitudes and frequencies of the magnetic field. The ability of the robot to navigate obstacles, move over ground and under water as well as on the oil-coated surface, dissolve and release a drug is demonstrated through experiments. The combination of multi-segmented design and biocompatible and dissolvable materials illustrates the potential of such robots for medical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5795-5802
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and automation letters
Issue number2
Early online date22 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


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