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.