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BPN826: Autonomous Flying Microrobots

Project ID BPN826
Website
Start Date Thu 2016-Jan-28 12:06:33
Last Updated Mon 2017-Feb-06 18:29:31
Abstract Even as autonomous flying drones enter the mainstream, there has been no strong push for miniaturization by industry. This project looks to develop a new microfabricated transduction mechanism for flying microrobots with the goal of opening up the application space beyond that allowed by standard quadcoptors. The proposed mechanism, atmospheric ion thrusters, offer some advantages over traditional drone flight (e.g. with rotors) and also the opportunity to bring together multiple MEMS technology areas into one integrated system. Microfabricated silicon electrodes are currently being used to create devices with thrust to weight ratios in excess of 15. Robots with four individually addressable thrusters have been assembled that are around 15mg and less than 2cm on a side. We hope to demonstrate repeatable tethered takeoff and constrained attitude control in the near future.Ultimately, integration with a low power control and communications platform will yield a truly autonomous flying microrobot with ion thrusters the ionocraft.
Status New
Funding Source BSAC Member Fees
IAB Research Area Physical Sensors & Devices
Researcher(s) Daniel S. Drew, Craig Schindler, Brian Kilberg
Advisor(s) Kristofer S.J. Pister
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Summary Slide PDF | VIDEO
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