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Daniel Contreras, Ph.D. 2018

Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Prof. Pister
Research Interests: Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), microrobotics

BIOGRAPHY
Completed his B.A. in physics at Pomona College in 2009. While in undergrad, he performed research working on an astronomical adaptive optics system, focusing on instrumentation. Currently he is pursuing a PhD at Berkeley focusing on MEMS, working under Kristofer Pister on a project involving microrobotics.

Walking Silicon Microrobots [BPN735]
The field of MEMS-based robotics has yet to produce a truly autonomous synthetic walking microrobot. This project seeks to develop a new generation of MEMS walking microrobots using simple processing techniques. These robots will be based on electrostatic linear actuators that will drive planar silicon linkages, all fabricated in the device layer of a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer. By using electrostatic actuation, these legs will have the advantage of being low power compared to other microrobot leg designs. This is key to granting the robot autonomy through low-power energy harvesting. The ultimate goal will be to join these silicon legs with a CMOS brain and a high voltage solar cell array to achieve a fully autonomous walking microrobot. Current work is focused on characterizing the vertical force output and frictional losses of the planar SOI joints and linkages. We have demonstrated a 2 degree- of-freedom leg with motors in 30 square millimeters of silicon, with a vertical range of travel of 300Ám and a horizontal range of travel of 1mm. Forces along the vertical axis have been measured to be over 200ÁN.


Current Active Projects:
BPN735
 

     Last Updated: Tue 2015-Sep-08 14:46:51

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