RSS 2008 Workshop

Underwater Robotics … at the Microscale

Biological motors are engineering marvels capable of providing propulsion at micro and nano scales. A variety of molecular machines swim for cell division and intracellular transport and have recently been used to power and manipulate micro-/nanoscale components. Microrobotic swimmers have also been proposed as a key technology for dramatically changing many aspects of medicine by navigating bodily fluids to perform targeted diagnosis and therapy. Microrobots, like microorganisms, swim in a low-Reynolds-number regime, requiring swimming methods that differ from macroscale swimmers. Researchers have proposed numerous microrobotic swimming methods, many biomimetic, with the vast majority utilizing magnetic fields to wirelessly power and control the microrobot. The goal of this workshop is to understand how fundamental robotics research has benefited from biology, and how biologists and robotists might benefit from one another's approach.

Time and Place

June 28, 2008
Main Building (Hauptgebauede (HG E1.1)
ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland


Brad Nelson
Vijay Kumar
Sylvain Martel
Metin Sitti
Lixin Dong


Presenter Topic Time
Brad Nelson Why Underwater Microrobotics? 8:30 - 9:00
Takashi Ishikawa Overview of Eukaryotic Flagella from a Mechanistic Perspective 9:00 - 9:30
Howard C. Berg Resurrection of the flagellar rotary motor near zero load 9:30 - 10:00
Break 10:00-10:30
Sylvain Martel Bacterial propulsion and steering for nanorobots 10:30-11:00
Metin Sitti On-Board and Off-Board Micro-Robot Locomotion Under Water 11:00 - 11:30
Li Zhang Fabricating Artificial Bacterial Flagella 11:30-12:00
Lunch Break 12:00 - 1:30
Antoine Ferreira Design and Interaction of Drug Delivery Nanorobots with Cells 1:30 - 2:00
Agung Julius Abstractions and Control of Swarming Bacteria with Applications to Manipulation 2:00 - 2:30
Gabor Kosa Using flagellar motion to drive swimming micro robots for medical applications 2:30 - 3:00
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