Small-scale Wireless Medical Robots
Wireless small-scale medical robots have the potential to revolutionize healthcare, since they have the unique capability of non-invasive access and operation inside hard-to-reach and unprecedented small spaces inside the human body. However, due to miniaturization limitations on on-board actuation, powering, sensing, computing and communication, new methods need to be introduced in creating such tiny robots. First, cell-driven biohybrid microrobots are proposed, where a synthetic microswimmer is driven by attached biological microorganisms (bacteria and microalgae). Such biohybrid microswimmers loaded with drugs are shown in vitro to deliver drugs actively and locally to cancerous tissues. Next, external magnetic fields are used to derive and steer a wireless soft-bodied magnetic millirobot inspired by soft-bodied small animals. Such robot is demonstrated to be able to have seven locomotion modalities to be able to navigate in complex environments, such as inside the human body. Also, a baby jellyfish-inspired soft swimmer is shown to realize many diverse functions by controlling the local fluidic flow around them towards medical use.
About The Speaker
Dr. Metin Sitti is director of the Physical Intelligence Department (http://pi.is.mpg.de) at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany. He was a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and in the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, USA (2002-2014) and a research scientist at University of California at Berkeley, USA (1999-2002). He received the BSc (1992) and MSc (1994) degrees in electrical and electronics engineering from Boğaziçi University, Turkey, and the PhD degree (1999) in electrical engineering from the University of Tokyo, Japan. He founded a start-up (nanoGriptech Inc.) in Pittsburgh, USA in 2009 to commercialize his lab’s gecko-inspired microfiber adhesive technology as a new disruptive adhesive material, branded as Setex®. He is an IEEE Fellow. As selected awards, he received the ERC Advanced Grant (2019), Rahmi Koç Medal of Science (2018), Best Paper Award in the Robotics Science and Systems Conference (2019), IEEE/ASME Best Mechatronics Paper Award (2014), SPIE Nanoengineering Pioneer Award (2011), Best Paper Award in the IEEE/RSJ Intelligent Robots and Systems Conference (1998, 2009), and NSF CAREER Award (2005). He raised over $14M research funding from NSF, NIH, NASA, DoD, and industry while he was a professor in the USA. He has published over 435 peer-reviewed papers, over 235 of which have appeared in archival journals. He is the editor-in-chief of both Progress in Biomedical Engineering and Journal of Micro-Bio Robotics. His research interests include physical intelligence, small-scale mobile robotics, bio-inspiration, advanced functional micro/nanomaterials, and miniature medical devices.