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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]
This project focuses on developing a new generation of sub-centimeter MEMS based walking robots. These robots are based on electrostatic actuators driving planar silicon linkages, all fabricated in the device layer of a silicon-on- insulator (SOI) wafer. By using electrostatic actuation, these legs 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, battery power, a high voltage solar cell array, and high voltage buffers to achieve a fully autonomous walking microrobot. Initial work focused on the development of a planar silicon linkage with a travel range of 450um x 450um and a vertical force output above 200uN. Using this linkage, we have demonstrated successful externally-powered locomotion of a single legged wind-up toy inspired robot. Current work focuses on developing a hexapod robot based on similar silicon linkages with a 1mm x 2mm travel range. This design will be achieved using wafer bonding and multichip assembly.


Current Active Projects:
BPN735
BPN858
BPN857
 

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

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