This dissertation proposed a unified methodological framework for the model-based, optimal design of SMPs. The notion of SMPs encompass all systems whose dynamics result from the multiple, stochastic interactions of a set of constitutive components endowed with a reactive behavior and minimal sensing, computing, and actuation capabilities, such as sub-centimeter-sized robots, insects, cells, MEMS devices, or molecules. As a result, the spectrum of potential applications of this work ranges from biomedical engineering (where large groups of ultra-small robots are envisioned as both diagnostic and therapeutic tools) to environmental engineering (e.g., spill detection, pollution monitoring, water purfication). The experimental portion of this work is not intended as a proof-of-concept of these anticipated applications; rather, it supports our theoretical and methodological findings, which constitute the main body of our research. In particular, the claims of this dissertation can be articulated as follows.
KeywordsBiomedical Engineering Reactive Behavior Constitutive Component Ambitious Objective Solid Brick
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