Wireless Miniature Magnetic Phase-Change Soft Actuators

doi: 10.1002/adma.202204185.

Online ahead of print.


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Yichao Tang et al.

Adv Mater.



Wireless miniature soft actuators are promising for various potential high-impact applications in medical, robotic grippers, and artificial muscles. However, these miniature soft actuators are currently constrained by a small output force and low work capacity. To address such challenges, we report a miniature magnetic phase-change soft composite actuator. This soft actuator exhibits an expanding deformation and enables up to a 70 N output force and 175.2 J/g work capacity under remote magnetic radio frequency heating, which are 106 -107 times that of traditional magnetic soft actuators. To demonstrate its capabilities, we first design a wireless soft robotic device that can withstand 0.24 m/s fluid flows in an artery phantom. By integrating it with a thermally-responsive shape-memory polymer and bistable metamaterial sleeve, we design a wireless reversible bistable stent towards for future potential angioplasty applications. Moreover, it can additionally locomote inside and jump out of granular media. At last, the phase-change actuator can realize programmable bending deformations when a specifically designed magnetization profile is encoded, enhancing its shape-programming capability. Such a miniature soft actuator provides an approach to enhance the mechanical output and versatility of magnetic soft robots and devices, extending their medical and other potential applications. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


high work capacity; magnetic soft composites; miniature wireless soft device; phase-change materials; programmable shape deformation.

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