Independent control of microrobots is a cardinal challenge for manipulation at micro/nano scale. In this paper, we design and assemble an electromagnetic setup to overcome some of the major obstacles in the independent control of microrobots. The demanding magnetic requirements are met by the presented experimental testbed that is able to produce magnetic fields and gradients of, respectively, 160 mT and 3.6 T/m at the center of the workspace. Through the design process of this testbed, we analyze the importance of design parameters and derive a quantitative analysis of the requirements for the dissipation of the generated heat. Further, we present and develop the model and software infrastructure, capable of running at 25 Hz, necessary for independent control of multiple microrobots. We also introduce two novel techniques for current-minimizing mapping of the desired forces into currents at the electromagnet. Finally, the capabilities of the setup are demonstrated through independent control of two, both identical and nonidentical, soft-magnetic microspheres in three-dimensional space—with average root mean square errors of 102 μ m and peak velocities of up to 331 μ m/s.
Ongaro, F., Pane, S., Scheggi, S., & Misra, S. (2019). Design of an Electromagnetic Setup for Independent Three-Dimensional Control of Pairs of Identical and Nonidentical Microrobots. IEEE transactions on robotics, 35(1), 174-183. . https://doi.org/10.1109/TRO.2018.2875393