The MICROBS laboratory has two core research objectives:
A. Development of next-generation microrobots. The field of microrobotics has shown great progress in the last decade, specifically in the control of the mobility of untethered microscopic devices. However, these devices are simple machines consisting of monolithic structures that are passively moved by external fields. Physical and manufacturing constraints limit the integration of electronic components. Alternative solutions are required for incorporating sensing and computation into the machinery and building robots.
B. Discovering mesoscale physical principles of biological self-organization. Many experiments in the biomedical sciences are greatly aided by robotic and automation technologies. Our strategy is to engineer novel microrobotic systems that can be seamlessly integrated with high-throughput bioengineering platforms for the study of mechanobiology and biological organization. The distinguishing features of our technological approach are the fine control, extreme dexterity, high-throughput, and multi-dimensionality.