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Wireless, RF & Smart Dust
     
 

BPN735: Walking Silicon Microrobots

Project ID BPN735
Website
Start Date Fri 2014-Jan-31 14:37:35
Last Updated Mon 2017-Feb-06 18:29:39
Abstract 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.
Status Continuing
Funding Source BSAC Member Fees
IAB Research Area Wireless, RF & Smart Dust
Researcher(s) Daniel Contreras, Hani Gomez
Advisor(s) Kristofer S.J. Pister
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