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Soft Amphibious MicroRobot fabricated by Additive Integrated manufacturing

Project description

Paving the way to a future of medical robots

Healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic have been struggling to cope with a significant increase in patients requiring treatment. Also, social distancing has made telemedicine a system of choice. For treatment, the use of robotic intermediaries may prove essential. In this context, the SAMURAI project, funded by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, will develop innovative soft microrobotic devices fully 3D-printed using additive manufacturing techniques. These soft microrobots will be able to move both in ambient conditions and liquid media. In addition, new 3D printing protocols will be developed for fabricating the microrobots, and various biomimicking designs of the microrobots will be evaluated. Finally, autonomous operation will be investigated by embedding the soft microrobots with microchips.


"Current healthcare systems are facing major challenges due to the recent global pandemic. The human-human interaction has become hazardous as infection rates rise and healthcare workers are finding increased difficulty in managing the overwhelming number of patients and necessary resources for treatment are constrained. The use of robotic intermediaries for diagnosis and treatment may solve these challenges. The demand for automated medical systems is increasing which can facilitate telemedicine and distribution of individual treatment and care from the limited number of experts simultaneously to multiple patients. Current robotic medical systems are bulky and expensive, limiting use especially for low income counties. Here, soft robotic systems offer several advantages over their conventional and rigid counterparts. They are compliant and can mimic the excellent dexterity of bio-organisms. They can be fabricated by Additive Manufacturing Technology in automated fabrication and thus reduce the cost of the (soft) medical systems. SAMURAI will develop innovative soft microrobotic devices fully 3D printed using additive manufacturing techniques. By using microactuators based on electroactive polymers and ionogels as the movement generating ""limbs"", soft microrobots will be fabricated that can move both in ambient condition and liquid media, resulting in amphibious devices. New 3D printing protocols will be developed and optimized for fabricating the microrobot. Various biomimicking designs of the microrobot will be evaluated. Finally, autonomous operation will be investigated by embedding the soft microrobot with a microchip. The miniaturization of the robotic devices in SAMURAI will pave the way to a future of medical robots traversing the complex micro-channels present in the body. SAMURAI will effectively re-establish the researcher’s career by high quality training and knowledge transfer and offering new networks and skills in applied sciences."


Net EU contribution
€ 191 852,16
Campus valla
581 83 Linkoping

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Östra Sverige Östra Mellansverige Östergötlands län
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00