"Chunxel" Technology is a novel concept of constructing 3-dimensional structures using a group of intelligent, autonomous, and cooperating micro robots. Chunxels are small robotic modules, cubical in shape, which are immersed in a tank containing a viscous fluid. The chunxels are propelled by the electromagnetic forces created by passing direct current through a set of large coils placed on each face of the tank and small coils embedded in the micro device. The chunxels follow a set of rules which mimic a swarm behavior and selfassemble in the liquid to form a 3-D structure. Swarm behavior is a dynamic problem and in order to ensure the completion of the task in reasonable time by the swarm it is necessary to have a robust control algorithm and a navigation strategy. The objective of this research was to develop such a control algorithm which when followed would assure the successful completion of the task given to the chunxels. Also in order to understand the dynamics of the swarm and verify the control strategy it was important to simulate this process so that the chunxels can be programmed accordingly. This thesis presents the development of the control algorithm for the swarm and the simulation tool used to test this algorithm. The final phase of this thesis concentrates on optimizing the various parameters of the chunxel device that affect the motion of the chunxel inside the tank.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Robots, Industrial--Computer simulation; Microelectromechanical systems--Computer simulation; Self-organizing systems--Computer simulation; Microfluidics--Computer simulation

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Industrial and Systems Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Industrial and Systems Engineering (KGCOE)


James B. Taylor

Advisor/Committee Member

Paul H. Stiebitz


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TS191.8 .M37 2005


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