Xinjian was a visiting Ph.D. student in the Physical Intelligence Department from September 2019 to August 2020. During his visit, he co-leaded a research project with Dr. Xiaoguang Dong under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Metin Sitti, aiming at developing novel multifunctional soft robots for biomedical applications.
Their work titled “Reconfigurable multifunctional ferrofluid droplet robots” (https://www.pnas.org/content/117/45/27916) has been recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
In this work, they proposed a fundamental mechanism of controlling the reconfigurable large deformation and coordinated motions of multiple ferrofluid droplets. They used this mechanism to achieve multiple functionalities, including on-demand liquid-cargo delivery, morphing for efficient and versatile manipulation of delicate objects, and programmable fluidic-mixing function, potentially enabling unprecedented functionalities in lab/organ-on-a-chip, fluidics, bioengineering, and medical device applications, beyond magnetically actuated elastomer-based soft robots.