Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Liang Dong


Hard-bodied robots’ operations always are limited because of their rigid structures. Recently, researchers has been inspired by some animals because they can exhibit complex movement with soft structure. Conventional manipulators operate difficultly because of their rigid links in some highly congested environments. They design soft robots, to replace traditional robots with rigid links. With a soft structure and large degrees of freedom, these robots can be used for tasks in highly congested environments. The elephant trunk is one of the most used models due to its high flexibility. Its shape can be changed when pressurized by air. Our study focuses on designing and fabricating a pneumatic soft actuator inspired by elephant trunk, and testing pneumatic actuations with a focus on achieving its multiple freedom of degree movement. Normally, Soft robots are always actuated by variable length tendons embedded in the soft segment. Compared to the traditional approach, pneumatic actuation does not damage the actuator because no more complex components need to be fabricated in the actuator.

Studying small model organisms such as Caenorhabditis elegans provides great opportunities for securing diseases in humans. C. elegans is easily grown in the laboratory, with maintained in agar-filled petri dishes. These small model organisms also have huge potential for use in drug delivery and image-based screening. There are many developments in microfluidic technologies for imaging small model organisms. Due to severe constraints of volume, Shadow-imaging is one of methods that can record the locomotion of nematodes. The microfluidic device is put on the top of the the camera chip, and the light source is put on the top of the device. Our study focuses on designing a microfluidic device to facilitate high-throughput, imaging-based screening of microscopic nematodes. It involves fabricating microfluidic device, designing and integrating siphon-based suction mechanism with multiple channels, and using the raspberry-pi camera to record the movement of nematodes in channels.


Copyright Owner

Jikang Qu



File Format


File Size

37 pages