Untethered miniature robots, which can non-invasively access highly confined and enclosed spaces, have the potential to create a paradigm shift for minimally-invasive surgeries and targeted-drug-deliveries. Among the miniature robots, the magnetic ones are especially promising for such treatments because their actuating magnetic fields can harmlessly penetrate through the human body. The potential of these robots, however, has not been fully developed because it remains a great challenge to design and control such robots. Here, I will discuss how we can make magnetic miniature robots realize a diverse range of functionalities. I envision that the presented method is a significant step towards making miniature robots practical for their targeted medical applications.
Dr. Lum Guo Zhan received his B.Eng. with first class honors in mechanical engineering from Nanyang Technological University in 2010. He received his dual Ph.D. degrees from Nanyang Technological University and Carnegie Mellon University in 2016. From 2016 to 2017, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. To date, he has published eight journal papers, including multi-disciplinary journals such as Nature, PNAS and Advanced Materials. One of his works was nominated for the best paper award at the 2014 Robotics: Science and Systems conference. His work on miniature soft robots, and highly reversible and switchable adhesives have also attracted substantial attention from the international media