University of Twente Student Theses


Self-assembled Magnetic Carpets for Cargo-Transport of Millimetric Planar Objects

Ariëns, D.L.R. (2023) Self-assembled Magnetic Carpets for Cargo-Transport of Millimetric Planar Objects.

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Full Text Status:Access to this publication is restricted
Embargo date:25 May 2025
Abstract:Nature provides many examples of collective behavior ranging from social insects to bird flocks. Collective behavior has motivated scientists to develop multi-robotic systems to overcome the limitations of single robotic units. At the microscale, the collective behavior of artificial cilia has demonstrated applications in cargo transportation, drug delivery, and self-cleaning technologies. Magnetic-actuated artificial cilia (i.e., magnetic carpets) consist of numerous pillar-like structures fabricated using two main fabrication techniques: molding and self-assembly. Molding techniques are suitable for fabricating homogeneous pillar-like structures yet involve complex and expensive mold creation methods. Magnetic self-assembly is the spontaneous organization of magnetic components and can be used to create pillar-like structures from microparticles. However, there are still challenges in understanding pillar-like structure formation and reconfiguring the magnetic carpet under magnetic fields and gradients. In this master's thesis, we propose a fabrication-free approach to create a magnetic carpet by self-assembly using reduced iron microparticles. The fabrication-free approach permits generating and reconfiguring the magnetic carpet within the workspace. Throughout the report, we analyze the pillar-like structure formation from magnetic self-assembly. Furthermore, we examine the behaviour of the magnetic carpet by different actuation mechanisms using an electromagnetic system composed of nine coils. Lastly, we experimentally validate which actuation mechanism is most efficient for cargo transport of planar objects of different shapes, sizes and weights. In the results of this thesis we find that the height and density of the created magnetic carpet increases when using more microparticles or currents on the electromagnetic coils to create the carpet. The actuation mechanisms examined for the carpet behaviour include rotational magnetic fields, oscillating magnetic fields and sweeping magnetic fields. The pillars behave differently at each point in the workspace which influences the cargo transport. We experimentally observe that the sweeping magnetic field is the most efficient actuation mechanism to displace planar objects into two dimensions.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:31 mathematics, 42 biology, 53 electrotechnology, 54 computer science
Programme:Biomedical Engineering MSc (66226)
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