Aquatic organisms within the Cephalopoda family (e.g., octopuses, squids, cuttlefish) exist that draw the surrounding fluid inside their bodies and expel it in a single jet thrust to swim forward. Like cephalopods, several acoustically powered microsystems share a similar process of fluid expulsion which makes them useful as microfluidic pumps in lab-on-a-chip devices. Herein, an array of acoustically resonant bubbles are employed to mimic this pumping phenomenon inside an untethered microrobot called CeFlowBot. CeFlowBot contains an array of vibrating bubbles that pump fluid through its inner body thereby boosting its propulsion. CeFlowBots are later functionalized with magnetic layers and steered under combined influence of magnetic and acoustic fields. Moreover, acoustic power modulation of CeFlowBots is used to grasp nearby objects and release it in the surrounding workspace. The ability of CeFlowBots to navigate remote environments under magneto-acoustic fields and perform targeted manipulation makes such microrobots useful for clinical applications such as targeted drug delivery. Lastly, an ultrasound imaging system is employed to visualize the motion of CeFlowBots which provides means to deploy such microrobots in hard-to-reach environments inaccessible to optical cameras.
- magnetic propulsion