Design and control of soft continuum magnetic robots for surgical applications

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Electronic and Electrical Engineering


This PhD research will focus on modelling and real-time control of magnetically actuated soft robots. These robots may range from self-contained capsule-shape devices for early diagnosis/early treatment of life-threatening diseases to continuum magnetic tentacles specifically magnetised to navigate through specific anatomical routes to deliver therapy. This work will include the investigation of modelling approaches to magnetic manipulation, and the exploration of different solutions for generating the external actuation field and field gradient, ranging from permanent magnets mounted at the end effector of robotic manipulators to coil-based system such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners. It is expected the PhD research will make contributions to the modelling and control of magnetic robots with specialised areas of study that may include (but not exclusive to):
- Analytical and numerical modelling approaches to magnetic manipulation
- Intelligent generation of controlling magnetic fields and field gradients
- Real-time localization of soft robots
- Closed-loop control of intra-corporeal magnetic medical robots
- Associated validation in realistic models
The student will join the multi-disciplinary research carried on at the Science and Technology of Robotics in Medicine (STORM) Lab at the University of Leeds (, where we strive to improve the quality of life for people undergoing soft-tissue surgery and flexible endoscopy by creating miniature and non-invasive robots. At the STORM Lab, we are designing and creating soft and compliant robotic devices to be used inside specific districts of the human body to detect and cure diseases in a non-invasive way. Students graduated from our lab currently work for worldwide leaders in technological innovation such as Apple and Intuitive Surgical, or continue research in leading groups in the field of medical robotics.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/T517860/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2025
2692244 Studentship EP/T517860/1 01/11/2021 30/04/2025 Joshua Davy