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University of Hawaii

Electrical Engineering

Miniature Soft Robots-From Biomedical to Biomechanics

Date: 2020-03-17           Add to Google Calendar
Time: 9:30am - 10:30am
Location: Holmes Hall 485 or ZOOM
Speaker: Dr Wenqi Hu, Senior Research Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems

Untethered mobile milli/microrobots would have a radical impact in medicine. Such untethered tiny machines could access smaller regions inside the body, remain inside the body for long durations as semi- implantable medical devices, and enable diagnostic and therapeutic medical operations in hard or currently not possible to reach regions with minimal or no invasion. While many groups have been working intensely on creating such new machines for potential medical applications, there are still many significant challenges that must be addressed. In the first part of my talk, I will present my solutions to some of these challenges by extensively exploring the concept of soft biomimetic design. In the second part, I will talk about the potentials of using my highly biomimetic miniature robots to go back and resolve those unanswered scientific questions in nature. To support my main arguments on the biomedical and biomechanical research, I will also mention several novel fabrication methods to make these smart miniature devices.

Dr. Wenqi Hu is currently a permanent senior research scientist at Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart Germany. He received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC) in 2005. He then went to Hawaii and got the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in 2014. He was awarded the best Ph.D. graduate. Dr. Wenqi Hu became a research fellow at Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in 2014. He was awarded the prestigious Humboldt Postdoctoral Research fellowship between 2015 and 2018. Since 2014, he has been working on magnetic soft material and miniature robot. His work has significantly pushed forward our understanding and application of this smart soft material. Particularly, his work “Soft miniature robots with multimodal locomotion” enables a non-invasive access to enclosed spaces, such as the unprecedented or hard-to-reach tight regions inside the human body. His work are widely cited (citations: 1284) by the other researchers in the field and reported by the general media, such as New York Time, Wall Street Journal and Scientific American.