Adaptive Pattern and Motion Control of Magnetic Microrobotic Swarms

Jiangfan Yu, Lidong Yang, Xingzhou Du, Hui Chen, Tiantian Xu, Li Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Reconfigurable microrobotic swarms and controllable active matter systems have drawn extensive attention recently. Developing effective actuation strategies and control schemes that enable embodied intelligence of microscopic swarms are both major challenges. In this work, we realize the generation of an elliptical paramagnetic nanoparticle swarm (EPNS) with enhanced dexterity for adaptive locomotion, and subsequently a fuzzy control strategy is developed for automatically tuning pattern deformation, orientation, and position of the swarm. By adjusting the input field, the aspect ratio of the EPNS will change accordingly, and we demonstrate its adaptive navigation through curved and narrowed channel by performing pattern reconfigurations. Moreover, using the proposed control strategy, precise matches can be reached between the controlled swarms and the desired patterns. Finally, to show the high compatibility of the control strategy, we employ ribbon-like colloidal swarms driven by oscillating magnetic field, and the results also validate the effectiveness of the strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1552-1570
Number of pages19
JournalIEEE Transactions on Robotics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Microrobotics
  • swarm control
  • untethered small-scale robotics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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