Light robotics: new micro-drones powered by light

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


We have promoted the idea of fabricating a new class of light-actuated microstructures and pioneered their use for so-called Light Robotics (light-driven micro-robotics). A strong scientific desire is to be able to combine advanced topology optimisation, microfabrication, surface functionalization and spatio-temporal light manipulation in full 3D to demonstrate the structure-mediated micro-to-nano coupling paradigm for controlled operation of robotic tools overcoming the diffraction limit while still being optically manoeuvrable and observable. Usually the 3D fabrication of these tiny vehicles for Light Robotics has been based on two-photon photopolymerization. This is inherently a slow, tedious and equipment expensive process leading to relatively soft microscopic polymer-based tools. We will demonstrate a radically different fabrication approach that can lead to much more rigid and useful tools for future Light Robotics undertakings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE. Complex Light and Optical Forces XVI
EditorsDavid L. Andrews, Enrique J. Galvez, Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop
Number of pages8
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2. Mar 2022
ISBN (Electronic)9781510649057
Publication statusPublished - 2. Mar 2022
EventSPIE OPTO - San Franisco, United States
Duration: 22. Jan 202228. Feb 2022


ConferenceSPIE OPTO
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Franisco
SeriesProceedings of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering


  • Generalized Phase Contrast
  • Holography
  • Light-driven micro-robotics
  • Micro-fabrication
  • Optical tracking


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