CE33 - Interaction, robotique

Electrowetting microrobot: Fluid joint control by electrowetting – E-WetBot

Submission summary

At the microscale (between 1 and 100 microns), there is a lack of compact robotic systems. Indeed, micro-sized systems offer a much smaller workspace than their overall dimension. This largely hinders the realisation of robotic systems for low invasive surgery or embedded into organ-on-chip microfluidic devices where small footprint is essential.

E-WetBot aims to solve this challenge by using surface tension forces (i.e. force between two non-miscible fluids) as they become predominant at small scale due to their linear dependency with the system size. This will be achieved by merging the use of fluid joint and electrowetting. A fluid joint consists of a liquid in a gas environment (or the reverse) joining and guiding parts thanks to the surface tension arising at the fluid boundary. It has been demonstrated for a wide range of micro/nano systems as an effective passive mechanism. Electrowetting allows the variation of a liquid contact angle on a surface by applying a voltage to this surface (changing its property from hydrophobic to hydrophilic).

Therefore, the scientific question of the project is to understand how electrowetting can make fluid joint active to control microrobotic systems. To answer this question, the project will be divided in the following tasks:
1/ Active fluid joint model: Complex models will be investigated to capture the dynamic and hysteresis of the active fluid joint.
2/ Electrowetting microrobot conception and fabrication: Electrodes and floating microbots will be realised thanks to FEMTO-ST cleanroom resources. An electrowetting platform will also be implemented.
3/ Electrowetting microrobot command optimisation: after a study of the linearisable domain, closed loop based on proprioceptive sensing with impedance measurement will be developed.
4/ Demonstrator conception: Two demonstrators illustrating the potential for minimally invasive surgery and microfluidic will be realised.

Project coordination

Antoine Barbot (INSTITUT FRANCHE-COMTE ELECTRONIQUE MECANIQUE THERMIQUE ET OPTIQUE - SCIENCES ET TECHNOLOGIES)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

FEMTO-ST INSTITUT FRANCHE-COMTE ELECTRONIQUE MECANIQUE THERMIQUE ET OPTIQUE - SCIENCES ET TECHNOLOGIES

Help of the ANR 278,940 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: October 2022 - 48 Months

Useful links

Explorez notre base de projets financés

 

 

ANR makes available its datasets on funded projects, click here to find more.

Sign up for the latest news:
Subscribe to our newsletter