University of Twente Student Theses


Scaling rules for microrobots with full energetic autonomy

Renselaar, Erwin van (2023) Scaling rules for microrobots with full energetic autonomy.

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Abstract:Following developments in minimally invasive surgery, robots that can theoretically be used in vivo are becoming smaller and smaller. A downside of this is the increasing difficulty to store power in such a microrobot. Therefore the goal of this study was to make a theoretical prediction of the full end-to-end mechanics of a microrobot. It should be able to generate electricity with the help of its surroundings, and be able to transduce this electrical energy to motion. Since such a robot can be used in a variety of surroundings, ranging from the gastro-intestinal tract to capillaries, it is vital to understand the effect size has on the functioning of such a robot. For the generation of electricity, a fuel cell was chosen. Instead of having an on-board hydrogen cannister, the hydrolysis of calcium hydride is proposed as a means of hydrogen supply. Using the electricity to power a set of tri-axial coils, it is possible to generate rotational motion under the influence of an external magnetic field. Finally a helical tail on the microrobot is proposed to generate a forward movement. The first part of the thesis primarily focusses on the electrochemistry of the fuel cell. The second part aims at finding a relationship between the size of the robot, and various outcome parameters, such as forward velocity and fuel consumption. From this theoretical analysis, downscaling seems to have desirable effects. The next steps in this study are to perform experiments to validate the model.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:30 exact sciences in general, 31 mathematics, 33 physics, 35 chemistry, 44 medicine, 53 electrotechnology
Programme:Biomedical Engineering MSc (66226)
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