Steering and Control of Miniaturized Untethered Soft Magnetic Grippers With Haptic Assistance

Abstract : Untethered miniature robotics have recently shown promising results in several scenarios at the microscale, such as targeted drug delivery, microassembly, and biopsy procedures. However, the vast majority of these small-scale robots have very limited manipulation capabilities, and none of the steering systems currently available enable humans to intuitively and effectively control dexterous miniaturized robots in a remote environment. In this paper, we present an innovative micro teleop-eration system with haptic assistance for the intuitive steering and control of miniaturized self-folding soft magnetic grippers in 2-dimensional space. The soft grippers can be wirelessly positioned using weak magnetic fields and opened/closed by changing their temperature. An image-guided algorithm tracks the position of the controlled miniaturized gripper in the remote environment. A haptic interface provides the human operator with compelling haptic sensations about the interaction between the gripper and the environment, as well as enabling the operator to intuitively control the target position and grasping configuration of the gripper. Finally, magnetic and thermal control systems regulate the position and grasping configuration of the gripper. The viability of the proposed approach is demonstrated through two experiments involving twenty-six human subjects. Providing haptic stimuli elicited statistically significant improvements in the performance of the considered navigation and micromanipulation tasks. Note to Practitioners—The ability to accurately and intuitively control the motion of miniaturized grippers in remote environments can open new exciting possibilities in the fields of minimally-invasive surgery, micromanipulation, biopsy, and drug delivery. This article presents a micro teleoperation system with haptic assistance through which a clinician can easily control the motion and open/close capability of miniaturized wireless soft grippers. It introduces the underlying autonomous magnetic and thermal control systems, their interconnection with the master haptic interface, and an extensive evaluation in two real-world C. Pacchierotti is affiliated with CNRS at Irisa and Inria Rennes, France. F. Ongaro, F. van den Brink, and S. Misra are affiliated with the Surgical The authors also thank Dr. Stefano Scheggi for his help in setting up the tracking system. scenarios: following of a predetermined trajectory, and pick-and-place of a microscopic object.
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IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2018, 15 (1), pp.290 - 306. 〈10.1109/TASE.2016.2635106〉
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Claudio Pacchierotti, Federico Ongaro, Frank Van den Brink, Changkyu Yoon, Domenico Prattichizzo, et al.. Steering and Control of Miniaturized Untethered Soft Magnetic Grippers With Haptic Assistance. IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2018, 15 (1), pp.290 - 306. 〈10.1109/TASE.2016.2635106〉. 〈hal-01482255〉

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