These are the core components of our system:
- YBCO, a high temperature superconductor
- Linear actuators, stepper and servo motors
- Functionalized micro-piece (permanent magnet)
- Flux Pinning: Magnetic field penetrates superconductor in lattice of vorticies containing a quantized amount of magnetic flux
- Micro-magnets: 250 micro-meter magnets generate magnetic field that is pinned by superconductor
- Precise Actuation: Minimum step size of 2 microns in the X-Y and 6 microns in the Z plane
The crux of our technology relies on the YBCO, a material that becomes a superconductor at liquid nitrogen temperatures. By utilizing a phenomenon called flux pinning, the YBCO can pin a micro-scale functional piece in the space above itself. The position of the YBCO can be controlled using actuators and motors, leading to control of the micro-piece as well. To complete, an optical tracking system is implemented to rectify error between the macro and micro-scale movements, resulting in high-precision actuation.
Beyond just robotic assembly, we want to conduct our own research into superconductivity as it is a relatively new and undiscovered field. Though we are looking for new research opportunities we currently are working on a torsion balance system that will allow us to measure the force to move our magnet. Successfully doing this will not only give a better understanding into the limits of our system, but it can also be used to quantify properties such as stoichiometric makeup which could lead to new understanding of superconductivity, if at least in part.
If you are a professor, PhD or graduate student interested in the field of microrobotics and superconductors, we would love to hear from you! We also welcome discussions with sponsors who would be interested in implementing their magnets or superconductors into MAYA. Please direct any inquiries to Brandon Klassen (firstname.lastname@example.org) and CC Sofia Rizzo (email@example.com).
We are a group of highly dedicated and motivated individuals working to combine micro and molecular biology with robotics. We, at HyDRA, are a research group working on long-term projects, with the goal of presenting and publishing our findings.
Our current project, the Hydroponics Dynamic Reduction Apparatus, or HyDRA, is working to engineer bacteria and hydroponic systems to create a better indoor, fully automated plant growth machine.
This project has three main components:
1. Create a fully automated, sensor wielding hydroponics system.
2. Engineer aquatic bacteria to express plant promoting genes within that system.
3. Engineer a microbial sensor to detect possible pathogens and our modified bacteria within the system.
We welcome collaborations with enthusiastic undergraduate students, professors, and graduate students interested in this field, and are open to feedback on our design! Please email Claire Murphy (ctmurphy@uwaterloo) and CC Sofia Rizzo (firstname.lastname@example.org) for any inquiries.