Nature Communications volume 13, Article number: 3118(2022) Cite this article


Wireless millimeter-scale origami robots have recently been explored with great potential for biomedical applications. Existing millimeter-scale origami devices usually require separate geometrical components for locomotion and functions. Additionally, none of them can achieve both on-ground and in-water locomotion. Here we report a magnetically actuated amphibious origami millirobot that integrates capabilities of spinning-enabled multimodal locomotion, delivery of liquid medicine, and cargo transportation with wireless operation. This millirobot takes full advantage of the geometrical features and folding/unfolding capability of Kresling origami, a triangulated hollow cylinder, to fulfill multifunction: its geometrical features are exploited for generating omnidirectional locomotion in various working environments through rolling, flipping, and spinning-induced propulsion; the folding/unfolding is utilized as a pumping mechanism for controlled delivery of liquid medicine; furthermore, the spinning motion provides a sucking mechanism for targeted solid cargo transportation. We anticipate the amphibious origami millirobots can potentially serve as minimally invasive devices for biomedical diagnoses and treatments.