Manivannan Sivaperuman Kalairaj

Self-cooling Soft Robotic Gripper

Hydrogel encapsulated Nitinol actuator with self-cooling mechanism for soft robotic gripping of delicate food products

Drug Delivery Device for Eustachian Tube

Non-invasive treatment of sudden hearing loss by trans-nasal drug delivery using Nitinol actuated soft elastic structures

Flame-retardant Skin for Soft Robotics

Hydrogel–montmorillonite-based translucent matrix skins coated on soft robots for navigation through fire environments.

SMA based Soft Actuators

Needle-size bending actuators based on controlled SMA curvatures and elastic structures for biomedical applications

Self-cooling Trans-oral Endoscope

Endoscope camera assembled with hydrogel encapsulated Nitinol actuator with self-cooling mechanism for trans-oral endoscopy

Caterpillar-inspired
Origami Robot

Magnetically actuated caterpillar-inspired origami
robot with diversified and untethered motion generation capabilities

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Manivannan Sivaperuman Kalairaj

Research Engineer in the Medical Mechatronics Lab at the National University of Singapore (Singapore).  

Email:
biesikm@nus.edu.sg

Research interests:
Soft robotics, smart materials, biomedical devices, sensors, and actuators.

Background:
I completed a BEng in Mechanical Engineering at the Anna University (Chennai, India), and a MSc in Smart Product Design at the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). During this time, I worked as a student assistant in BMW-NTU Future Mobility Research Lab. Before joining National University of Singapore, I was working as an application engineer at the Mason Industries Pte Ltd (Singapore).

Hydrogel Encapsulated Nitinol Tran-oral Endoscope

SMA-based Drug Delivery Device for Eustachian tube

Flame-retardant Skin for Soft Robotics

Spring-based Nitinol Actuator

Self-cooling Soft Robotic Gripper

Caterpillar-inspired Origami Robot

Skin-like Stretchable Strain Sensors for Clinical Applications

SMA-based Rapid Switching between Button Patterns

SMA-based Tentacle for Robotic Endoscopy

Buttons-on-Demand using Sliding Mechanism

Research Videos

Hydrogel Encapsulated Nitinol Actuator (HENA)
During actuation, the temperature of the Nitinol is raised, reverting the HENA to the programmed configuration. When deactivated, the hydrogel cools the Nitinol and defines the total curvature of HENA.

HENA for Soft Robotic Gripping
Two HENAs are assembled  such that their actuation is antagonistic to each other. Both are actuated simultaneously to facilitate gripping of 3D objects of different weights.

Bioinspired Soft Robots
HENA-based soft robot is actuated sequentially to achieve an inchworm-like motion. Utilizing two Nitinol wires and alternating actuation sequence can generate a starfish-inspired locomotion of the soft robot. 

Buttons on Demand using Sliding Mechanism
Different patterns of buttons are achieved using sliding mechanism. Different number of patterns are achieved in the linear automobile controller and handheld controller.  

Buttons on Demand using Sliding Mechanism
Different patterns of buttons are achieved using sliding mechanism. The mechanisms can be activated either manually or using a single SMA spring.

Hydrogel Encapsulated Shape-memory Annular (HESA)
Hydrogel-based soft circular valve is embedded with shape memory alloy wire to achieve cuff gripping and fluid flow control.

Publications

Journal Articles

  • K. S. Kumar, X. Xiao, M. S. Kalairaj, G. Ponraj, C. Li, C. J. Cai, C. M. Lim, and H. Ren (2021). Omnidirectional steerable forceps with flexible joints and skin-like stretchable strain sensors. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics. [Link] 
  • H. Banerjee*, M. S. Kalairaj*, T.-H. Chang, F. Fu, P.-Y. Chen, and H. Ren. (2021). Highly stretchable flame-retardant skin for soft robotics with hydrogel–montmorillonite-based translucent matrix. Soft Robotics. [Link] 
  • K. S. Kumar, T. D. Nguyen, M. S. Kalairaj, V. M. Hema, C. J. Cai, H. Huang, C. M. Lim, and H. Ren (2021). Deployable telescopic tubular mechanisms with a steerable tongue depressor towards self-administered oral swab. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 8: 30. [Link]
  • C. J. Cai, X. Xiao, M. S. Kalairaj, I. Lee, A. Mugilvannan, B. S. Yeow, J. H. Tan, H. Hui, and H. Ren. (2020) Diversified and untethered motion generation via crease patterning from magnetically actuated caterpillar-inspired origami robot. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics. [Link]
  • M. S. Kalairaj, B. S. Yeow, C. M. Lim, and H. Ren. (2020). Needle-size bending actuators based on controlled nitinol curvatures and elastic structures. Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics, 12(3): 031015. [Link]
  • M. S. Kalairaj, B. S. Yeow, C. M. Lim, and H. Ren. (2020). Nitinol actuated soft structures towards transnasal drug delivery: A pilot cadaver study. Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing, 58: 611-623. [Link]
  • M. S. Kalairaj*, H. Banerjee*, C. M. Lim, P.-Y. Chen, and H. Ren. (2019). Hydrogel-matrix encapsulated nitinol actuation with self-cooling mechanism. RSC Advances, 9(59): 34244-34255. [Link] (* Equal contribution)
  • V. Jaiganesh, P. K. Nagarajan, P. Sevvel, J. Dhileep Kumar, and S. Manivannan. (2016). Impact of tool pin geometry and optimized process parameters on mechanical properties of friction stir welded AZ80A Mg alloy. Materials Science Forum, 866: 151-155. [Link]
  • V. Jaiganesh, S. Manivannan, and B. Maruthu. (2015). Rapid prototyping of polymethyl methacrylate as replacement and support of spine in human. Biomedical Research, 26(4): S60-63. [Link]
  • V. Jaiganesh, S. Manivannan, and S. Manivannan. (2014). Numerical analysis and simulation of nylon composite propeller for aircraft. Procedia Engineering, 97: 1079-1088. [Link]

Book Chapters

  • M. S. Kalairaj, T. Z. Feng, and H. Ren. (2020). Soft-bodied flexible bending mechanism with shape memory alloy aiming for robotic endoscopy. In Flexible Robotics in Medicine: A Design Journey of Motion Generation Mechanisms and Biorobotic System Development, chapter 10, pp. 231-248. Academic Press, Elsevier. [Link]
  • L. Pang, N. T. Chuing, J. Y. L. Li, J. T. W. Wen, D. Manivannen, M. S. Kalairaj, and H. Ren. (2020). Endo-goose: a flexible and steerable endoscopic forceps with actively pose-retaining bendable sections. In Flexible Robotics in Medicine: A Design Journey of Motion Generation Mechanisms and Biorobotic System Development, chapter 18, pp. 401-416. Academic Press, Elsevier. [Link]
  • M. S. Kalairaj, H. Banerjee, K. G. Lopez, and H. Ren. (2020). Thermo-responsive hydrogel-based circular valve embedded with shape-memory actuators. In Flexible Robotics in Medicine: A Design Journey of Motion Generation Mechanisms and Biorobotic System Development, chapter 20, pp. 455-472. Academic Press, Elsevier. [Link]

Conference Articles

  • S. K. Manivannan, W. M. Huang, and F. Klanner. (Dec 2016). Buttons on demand using sliding mechanism. In International Conference on Electrical Engineering and Automation, pp. 996-1004. Hong Kong, China. [Link]
  • M. S. Kalairaj and W. M. Huang. (Aug 2016) Shape memory actuated sliding mechanism for rapid switching between button-patterns for adapted human-machine interaction at different automatization levels in automobiles. In International Conference on Automotive Innovation and Green Vehicle, Vol. 90, no. 01010. Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. [Link]
  • V. Jaiganesh, S. Manivannan, and S. Manivannan. (Dec 2014). Optimization of process parameters on friction stir welding of nylon 6 polymer plates. In International conference on Advances in Design and Manufacturing, Vol. 9, No. 59, pp. 34244-34255. Trichy, India, 2014. [Link]

Dissertations

  • S. K. Manivannan. (2017). Design of mechanisms for reversible macroscopic surface patterns. MSc Dissertation, Nanyang Technological University. [Link]

Patents

  • C. Denk, F. Klanner, R. H. Rasshofer, W. M. Huang, and S. K. Manivannan. (2018). Configurable input device. German patent application number DE102016215828A1. (Assignee: BMW) [Link]

Honors and Awards

ERI@N/BMW MSc Project Sponsorship Scheme (2015 – 2016)
Awarded by ERI@N/BMW in support of MSc research at Nanyang Technological University.

Tuition Grant Scheme (2015 – 2016)
Awarded by the Ministry of Education (Singapore) in support of MSc coursework at Nanyang Technological University.