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Description

In this work, the design and development of an integrated platform for the steering of swimming microrobot is reported. The system consists of: a near-spherical soft and buoyant magnetic microrobot (with a diameter of about 500 µm) conceived for operation in liquid; a wireless magnetic steering system, including a compact magnetic field generator based on two pairs of Helmholtz and Maxwell coils; an electronic system for their driving; a control software; a joypad physical user interface; and, the micro-arena as working environment. The platform design fulfills the requirements for the “Mobility Task” of the 2011 NIST Mobile Microrobotics Challenge. The results obtained from preliminary validation experiments confirm that the microrobots can move in a fully controlled way, successfully accomplishing an intricate eight-shape path, as required, in the water filled micro-arena. In particular we achieved a maximum average speed of 0.71 mm/s and an exceptionally smooth motion.

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