David is pursuing his PhD in the Pister group at UC Berkeley. He graduated from the University of Washington in 2007 and spent several years in government and academic research, including positions at Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore and McMurdo Station, Antarctica. His research interests include wireless sensor networks, data fusion, MEMS design, and robotics. He is currently supported by the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) fellowship.
Autonomous Microrobotic Systems [BPN735]
Recent advances in MEMS technology have enabled a new generation of microrobotic
engineering applications. This project aims at developing micro-scale actuation and
transduction mechanisms for mobility. Currently, electrostatic inchworm motors in conjunction
with microfabricated leg linkages are being investigated for walking while atmospheric ion
thrusters are investigated for flying. A motivation behind this research is the development of
truly mobile, high resolution, and autonomous sensor networks. One of the key elements towards
autonomy is the fusion of these mobility mechanisms with energy harvesting capabilities,
including high-voltage solar arrays. In addition, ultra-low power control and communications
platforms must be designed with the constraints of a microrobotic system in mind.