Design of Soft Microjoint to Improve Robotic Cell Micromanipulation Flexibility

Youchao Zhang, Fanghao Wang, Guang Chen, Zhijun Li, Alois Knoll, Yibin Ying, Mingchuan Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dexterity micromanipulation is a significant topic in the field of robotics. Herein, a novel robotic rotating microjoint controlled by an exogenous magnetic field based on magnetic programmable soft materials, which brings more dexterity to the micromanipulation task is proposed. First, the magnetic soft material is synthesized and the microjoint is manufactured. The maximum rotation angle and response time are characterized. Then the force analysis of the microjoint in a uniform magnetic field is performed and the relationship between the deformation bending angle of a microjoint and the magnetic field magnitude is first proposed. A sliding mode controller based on the deformation mechanism of microjoints and radial basis function neural network (DMRSMC) is proposed to achieve robust deformation control of the microjoint. The experiment that depicts the microjoint is able to achieve a maximum rotation angle of 22.16° and a response time of 16 ms. The DMRSMC controller performs angle control with higher accuracy than conventional SMC and PID controllers. Finally, a dexterous suction mechanism is developed by combining the microjoint with a soft micropipette needle to achieve dexterous grasping of zebrafish embryos with a 97% success rate and an orientation adjustment error is 1.36°.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Intelligent Systems
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • cellular manipulations
  • magnetically driven
  • microassembly
  • robotic micromanipulation


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