Characterization and control of biological microrobots

I.S.M. Khalil, Marc Philippe Pichel, L. Zondervan, Leon Abelmann, Sarthak Misra

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    This work addresses the characterization and control of Magnetotactic Bacterium (MTB) which can be considered as a biological microrobot. Magnetic dipole moment of the MTB and response to a field-with-alternating-direction are characterized. First, the magnetic dipole moment is characterized using four techniques, i.e., Transmission Electron Microscopy images, flip-time, rotating-field and u-turn techniques. This characterization results in an average magnetic dipole moment of 3.32×10−16 A.m2 and 3.72×10−16 A.m2 for non-motile and motile MTB, respectively. Second, the frequency response analysis of MTB shows that its velocity decreases by 38% for a field-with-alternating-direction of 30 rad/s. Based on the characterized magnetic dipole moment, the magnetic force produced by our magnetic system is five orders-of-magnitude less than the propulsion force generated by the flagellum of the MTB. Therefore, point-to-point positioning of MTB cannot be achieved by exerting a magnetic force. A closed-loop control strategy is devised based on calculating the position tracking error, and capitalizes on the frequency response analysis of the MTB. Point-to-point closed-loop control of MTB is achieved for a reference set-point of 60 μm with average velocity of 20 μm/s. The closed-loop control system positions the MTB within a region-of-convergence of 10 μm diameter.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationExperimental Robotics
    Subtitle of host publicationThe 13th International Symposium on Experimental Robotics
    EditorsJaydev P. Desai, Gregory Dudek, Oussama Khatib, Vijay Kumar
    Place of PublicationCham
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-00065-7
    ISBN (Print)978-3-319-00065-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Publication series

    NameSpringer Tracts in Advanced Robotics
    PublisherSpringer Verlag


    • dipole moment
    • EWI-23332
    • Characterization
    • IR-86198
    • Biological microrobots
    • Magnetic
    • Control


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