Journal of Micro-Bio Robotics

, Volume 14, Issue 1–2, pp 41–49 | Cite as

Motion planning of particle based microrobots for static obstacle avoidance

  • Hoyeon Kim
  • U. Kei Cheang
  • Louis W. Rogowski
  • Min Jun KimEmail author
Research Paper


Magnetic microrobots have been shown to be effective at navigating microscale environments which has led to many investigations reguarding the motion control of microrobots. To increase the feasibility of using microrobots for microscale tasks and widen the range of potential applications, the use of autonomous navigation systems will be essential. In this work, the magnetic particle based achiral microrobots are controlled wirelessly using a combination of rotating and static magnetic fields generated from electromagnetic coils in an approximate Helmholtz configuration. In previous work, we developed both a kinematic model for particle based microrobots and a feedback controller; once implemented, the controller can guide the microrobots to any goal positions. In the present work, we demonstrate path planning motion control for magnetic particle based microrobots in microfluidic channels formed using patterned static SU-8 microstructures. The microrobots were able to avoid collision with the microstructures, which acted as static obstacles, by using a gradient path method. In experiments, microrobots were able to reach the final goal position by following waypoints of generated path from the gradient path method in a static obstacle laden environment.


Microrobot Magnetic control Obstacle avoidance Path planning 



We thank Prof. Dejan Milutinović and Prof. Jongeun Choi for their contribution in developing the kinematic model. This work was funded by National Science Foundation (CMMI#1712096).

Supplementary material

12213_2018_107_MOESM1_ESM.mp4 (767 kb)
ESM 1 (MP4 766 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringSouthern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Energy EngineeringSouthern University of Science and TechnologyShenzhenChina

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