MicroTUM – a Magnetic Microbot Inside Human

If one day the micro robots will start travelling inside our bodies, they should be able to deal with obstacles. Scientists from Purdue University created a new magnetic robot called microTUM. It moves overturning and can overcome hollows and mounts in wet or dry environment.

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Key features of device

Having dimensions of 800 microns in length and 400 in width, the magnetic robot looks very similar to the micro robots of the Max Planck Institute engineers. Both prototypes have elongated magnetic tips, which allow them to control the magnetic field. The robot is available for carrying medicines or other loads. It can carry them right to the organ where they are needed.

The human body is a diverse and inimical environment. Frictional forces can impede the movement of the bot. Moreover, biological fluids increase resistance. The engineers report that overturning is crucial for μTUM mobility. This requires a strong magnetic field. However, the minibot always keeps one side on the surface and can handle even steep slopes.

Robot tests

Having checked the device in various environments, the developers assured that the μTUM works well under any conditions. For instance, the oil slows it down. On the contrary, it allows to climb mounts and slopes with an angle of up to 60 degrees. Moreover, the micro bot moves faster outside due to the ability of rock climbing.

In future, μTUM can finally become an application for medicine delivery. Prior to this, the team is planning to give it a new management system based on machine vision, for more accurate movement and development of a non-magnetic mode of motion.

 

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