Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

A Cilia-inspired Closed-loop Sensor-actuator Array

Whiting, James; Mayne, Richard; Melhuish, Chris; Adamatzky, Andrew

A Cilia-inspired Closed-loop Sensor-actuator Array Thumbnail


James Whiting
Occasional Associate Lecturer - CATE - ENG

Richard Mayne
Lecturer in Maths Supporting Science

Chris Melhuish
Professor of Robotics & Autonomous Systems


© 2018, Jilin University. Cilia are finger-like cell-surface organelles that are used by certain varieties of aquatic unicellular organisms for motility, sensing and object manipulation. Initiated by internal generators and external mechanical and chemical stimuli, coordinated undulations of cilia lead to the motion of a fluid surrounding the organism. This motion transports micro-particles towards an oral cavity and provides motile force. Inspired by the emergent properties of cilia possessed by the pond organism P. caudatum, we propose a novel smart surface with closed-loop control using sensor-actuators pairings that can manipulate objects. Each vibrating motor actuator is controlled by a localised microcontroller which utilises proximity sensor information to initiate actuation. The circuit boards are designed to be plug-and-play and are infinitely up-scalable and reconfigurable. The smart surface is capable of moving objects at a speed of 7.2 millimetres per second in forward or reverse direction. Further development of this platform will include more anatomically similar biomimetic cilia and control.


Whiting, J., Mayne, R., Melhuish, C., & Adamatzky, A. (2018). A Cilia-inspired Closed-loop Sensor-actuator Array. Journal of Bionic Engineering, 15(3), 526-532.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 1, 2017
Publication Date May 1, 2018
Deposit Date Feb 19, 2018
Publicly Available Date May 18, 2019
Journal Journal of Bionic Engineering
Print ISSN 1672-6529
Electronic ISSN 2543-2141
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 3
Pages 526-532
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the accepted version of the article. The final version is available at:


You might also like

Downloadable Citations