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This paper presents a path planning approach to the transportation of biological cells with combined robotics and optical tweezers technologies. A rapid path planner based on RRT (Rapidly-exploring random trees) algorithm is applied to find a collision-free path for automatic cell transportation. The optical tweezers are employed to trap and move the cell along the generated path toward a pre-specified goal position. Extending our early reported work on static path planning, a new dynamic path planner that considers the environmental change due to the Brownian movement of the cells is developed. This dynamic path planner can successfully enable the trapped cell to avoid collisions with other cells during transportation in a dynamic environment. Experiments on transporting yeast cells are performed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.
Date of Conference: 7-12 Oct. 2012