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Self-assembly for microrobot manufacturing

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Miyashita
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Imagine one swallowing a pill of microparts which spontaneously self-assemble into a microrobot inside the human body, subsequently starting to operate such as navigating or repairing. Self-assembly is a powerful bio-inspired concept that can enable such capabilities in future technologies. However, the underlying mechanism has only been seen in molecular biology and long been sought for creating versatile and adaptive robots at unreachable places. The key technical challenges are (1) how to realize such on-site manufacturing, self-assembly, (2) how to design such microrobots kinematics, and (3) how to actuate the robot once manufactured.

Recently, science has experienced three breakthroughs that make the fiction come close to the reality: artificial-molecule self-assembly (related to (1)), 3D printing technology (related to (2)), and micro/reconfigurable robotics (related to (3)). Following these advancements our project aims to develop new self-assembly techniques for on-site microrobots manufacturing. Your skills can be applied and developed towards the following subtopics: development of an electromagnetic coil system for actuating microrobots with electronics integration [1], controlling the microrobot by programming microcontrollers [2], and self-assembling parts design and fabrication [3]. Note that the research activities are focused on hands-on design and control.

The lab is recently established in 2016, thus you should be a motivated student who is willing to experience lab research from its installation. This project resides in the field of robotics giving you the opportunity to learn and develop technologies from diverse fields, such as engineering, bioengineering, and materials.


For further details on this opportunity and how to apply, please visit the Department of Electronics website at:

Funding Notes

The studentship will cover the tuition fee at the home/EU rate (£4,165 in 2016/17) and a stipend at the standard research council rate for a period of 3 years (£14,057 in 2015/16) starting in October 2016.

Applicants should have or be about to graduate with at least an upper second class honours degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics or a related subject.

Applicants are invited to contact Dr Shuhei Miyashita ([Email Address Removed]) for more information.

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