Project NSR: Navigating Soft Robots through Wireless Heating

This paper presents a novel battery-free soft-robotics platform that can crawl through confined, enclosed, and hard-to-reach spaces (e.g. packages, machinery, pipes, etc.), hidden from view of heating infrastructure. This is achieved through the co-design of a soft robotics platform and integrated soft conductive traces that enable wireless (microwave) heating through remote stimulation. We achieve fast actuation through a careful choice of materials and the overall mechanical structure of the robot to maximize heating efficiency. Further, the robot is actively tracked through enclosed spaces using a mmWave radar to direct heat to its location. We provide a detailed evaluation on the robot’s heating efficiency, location-tracking accuracy and crawling speed.


  • Navigating Soft Robots through Wireless Heating, Yiwen Song, Mason Zadan, Kushaan Misra, Zefang Li, Jingxian Wang, Carmel Majidi and Swarun Kumar, ICRA 2023