Autonomous Planning and Control of Soft Untethered Grippers in Unstructured Environments

Federico Ongaro, Stefano Scheggi, ChangKyu Yoon, Frank van den Brink, Seung Hyun Oh, David H. Gracias, Sarthak Misra

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    41 Citations (Scopus)
    171 Downloads (Pure)


    The use of small, maneuverable, untethered and reconfigurable robots could provide numerous advantages in various micromanipulation tasks. Examples include microassembly, pick-and-place of fragile microobjects for lab-on-a-chip applications, assisted hatching for in-vitro fertilization and minimally invasive surgery. This study assesses the potential of soft untethered magnetic grippers as alternatives or complements to conventional tethered or rigid micromanipulators. We demonstrate closed-loop control of untethered grippers and automated pick-and-place of biological material on porcine tissue in an unstructured environment. We also demonstrate the ability of the soft grippers to recognize and sort non-biological micro-scale objects. The fully autonomous nature of the experiments is made possible by the integration of planning and decision-making algorithms, as well as by closed-loop temperature and electromagnetic motion control. The grippers are capable of completing pick-and-place tasks of biological material at an average velocity of 1.8±0.71 mm/s and a drop-off error of 0.62±0.22 mm. Color-sensitive sorting of three micro-scale objects is completed at a velocity of 1.21±0.68 mm/s and a drop-off error of 0.85±0.41 mm. Our findings suggest that improved autonomous un-tethered grippers could augment the capabilities of current soft-robotic instruments especially in advanced tasks involving manipulation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-52
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of micro-bio robotics
    Issue number1-4
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


    • METIS-317569
    • IR-100972


    Dive into the research topics of 'Autonomous Planning and Control of Soft Untethered Grippers in Unstructured Environments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this