Research @ IRIS
Microrobotics is a field that combines the established theory and techniques of robotics with the exciting new tools provided by MEMS technology in order to create intelligent machines that operate at micron scales. IRIS research develops the tools and processes required to fabricate and assemble micron sized robots. Many of these systems are used for robotic exploration within biological domains, such as in the investigation of molecular structures, cellular systems, and complex organism behavior.
Nanorobotics is the study of robotics at the nanometer scale, and includes robots that are nanoscale in size and large robots capable of manipulating objects that have dimensions in the nanoscale range with nanometer resolution. Nanorobotic manipulation is an enabling technology for NEMS (NanoElectroMechanical Systems) and promising for nanorobots. NEMS with novel nanoscale materials and structures will enable many new nanosensors and nanoactuators.
Projects at the MSRL are highly integrated, multi-disciplinary collaborations that aim to push the boundaries of current knowledge and broaden the scope of micro and nanoscale engineering. Our research examines topical problems in such diverse fields as microrobotically assisted surgery, magnetic actuation and manipulation, micro and nanofabrication, low Reynolds number locomotion, wireless delivery of power, electrostimulation of biological materials and micro and nanostructure characterization.
Past research at the MSRL has demonstrated a host of important results, and provided a foundation for the continued development of multiscale technologies. Salient accomplishments include the "OctoMag," an electromagnetic system for the 5-DOF wireless control of microscale robots, untethered helical microswimmers capable of efficient translation in low Reynolds number regimes, wireless resonant magentic microstructures that convert the energy of applied magnetic fields into motion, and a multitude of other projects.