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Nano- and Microrobotics (Nano- and Microrobotics)

Module EI71091

This Module is offered by TUM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Basic Information

EI71091 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered every semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Focus Area Bio-Sensors in M.Sc. Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics
  • Catalogue of non-physics elective courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 60 h 5 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


This course focuses on nano- and microrobotics for biomedical applications. We will first cover key definitions and discuss basic concepts related to engineering nano/microrobots. We will discuss physics at the sub-millimeter scale and how scaling laws influence microrobot design. We will then cover materials, fabrication approaches, and power sources for nano/microrobots. In particular, we will draw attention to stimuli responsive materials and how they can be used to engineer wireless small-scale machines. We will study different types of microrobots according their function, namely actuation, sensing, and locomotion. Within the context of biomedical nanorobotics, we will cover in vivo and in vitro applications of small-scale robotic systems. We will discuss nano/microrobot integration in biological systems in terms of biocompatibility and give examples of bio-applications such as drug delivery, biomolecule sensing, biomanipulation, and microsurgery. Finally, we will address current challenges in the field and take a critical look at potential solutions.

Course topics:
• Introduction to nano/microrobotics
• Physics at sub-millimeter scale
• Stimuli responsive materials
• Powering of small-scale robots
• Magnetic and optical control
• Fabrication methods
• Actuation
• Sensing
• Locomotion
• Biological applications
• Biocompatibility
• In vivo integration for drug delivery and microsurgery
• In vitro implementations for sensing and cell manipulation

Learning Outcome

After participating in this course, the student is able to:
1. Understand the physical working principles of small-scale robotics
2. Apply knowledge on material and fabrication approaches for nano/microrobots to solve design problems
3. Analyse different power sources for nano/microrobots and explain their limitations
4. Evaluate important criteria for smooth device integration with cells and tissue
5. Understand and critically analyse research papers in nano/microrobotics and related disciplines
6. Design nano/microrobotic devices by applying knowledge acquired during the course



Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VI 4 Nano- and Microrobotics Iyisan, N. Özkale Edelmann, B. Wang, C. Wed, 09:30–12:30, EI-Gar 02.5901.021

Learning and Teaching Methods

The course is structured as lectures (2 SWS) and exercises (2 SWS). The lectures will provide the fundamental basis in nano/microrobotics and introduce key concepts to the students. The exercises will help students learn introduced concepts and in-class assignments will be performed where students will solve problems with the guidance of the lecturer. Moreover, students will exercise research paper analysis and presentation through the course project. For this purpose, each student will be asked to search for a scientific paper related to the field of nano/microrobotics and present it to the class. These approaches in combination will ensure that the above learning outcomes are met.


Lecture notes (presentation slides), in-class assignment sheets, references to relevant publications and books will be made available via Moodle.


1. Microrobotics: Methods and Applications, Yves Bellouard, CRC Press, 2009.
2. Nanorobotics: Current Approaches and Techniques, Constantinos Mavroidis and Antoine Ferreira, Springer, 2012.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In-class exercises: 20%
Project: 20%
End of semester written exam (90 minutes): 60%
Performance assessment will be conducted using three examination components which are in-class exercises, the project presentation, and the written exam.
In-class exercises enable students to solve problems related to course material and will be performed in pairs to promote active discussions as well as team work during exercise sessions. A total number of 5 in-class exercises will be conducted and these assignments will help train participants for the final exam which will have the same course content as well as similar structure.
The course project involves reading, understanding, and evaluating a research paper according to engineering principles discussed in class. Students will present their findings in a short presentation at the end of the semester during the exercise sessions. The duration of the presentations will be approximately 5-10 minutes which will be adjusted according to class size.
Learning outcomes 1, 2, and 3 will be evaluated using in-class exercises while 4, 5 will be evaluated via the project, and 2, 6 will be assessed by the written exam.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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