Motion Control in Magnetic Microrobotics: From Individual and Multiple Robots to Swarms

Lidong Yang, Li Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


Magnetic microrobotics has undergone approximately 20 years of development, and the robotics and control communities have contributed significant theoretical and practical results to the motion control aspects of this field. This article introduces fundamental motion principles covering individual, multiagent, and swarm control and critically reviews the state of the art along with representative results. It then describes closed-loop control (an important part of this field), including the system structure, current motion planning and control methods, and current feedback approaches. As the development of motion control in magnetic microrobotics is far from complete, especially for swarm control, its current limitations are discussed. Finally, we conclude with several challenges and future research directions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-534
Number of pages26
JournalAnnual Review of Control, Robotics, and Autonomous Systems
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • closed-loop control at microscale
  • magnetic microrobots
  • motion control
  • multiagent control
  • swarm control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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