What can MEMS do for Robotics?

  • Hiroyuki Fujita


This paper deals with the latest development of MEMS(micro electro mechanical systems) and its application to robotics. The MEMS technology is expected to have impacts on Robotics in three ways: (1) providing sensors and actuators, (2) introducing a new intelligent system concept, such as an autonomous distributed systems, and (3) realizing micro robots. Bacis ideas and some examples are discussed.


Shape Memory Alloy Atomic Force Micro Shape Memory Alloy Actuator Miniature Robot Shear Stress Sensor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    R.T. Howe, R.S. Muller, K.J. Gabriel, and W.S.N. Trimmer, “Silicon Micromechanics: Sensors and Actuators on a Chip”, IEEE Spectrum, June 1991, pp. 29–35.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    K.J. Gabriel, “Engineering Microscopic Machines”, Scientific American, vol. 260, no.9, pp. 118–121 (1995.9).Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    H. Fujita, “Microactuators and Micromachines”, Proc. of IEEE, vol. 86, No. 8, August 1998, pp. 1721–1732.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    K.J. Gabriel, “MEMS Research Projects in U.S.A.”, J. of JSME, Vol.97, No.905, pp.272–275 (1994) (translated into Japanese)Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    S. Sugiyama, et al: Tech. Digest Transducers ‘87, Tokyo, Japan (1987) p. 444.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    M. Esashi, et al: Trans. IEICE Trans, Vol. J73-C-II (1990) p. 37 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    C-M. Ho, P-H. Huang, J. Law, J. Mai, G-B. Lee, and Y-C. Tai, “MEMS: An Integrated System Capable of Sensing-Computing-Actuating”, 4th Intern’1 Conf. Intelligent Materials, Makuhari, Japan, Oct. 5–7, 1998, p. 300.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    T. Niino, S. Egawa, T. Higuchi, IEEE MEMS’94, Ohiso, Japan (1994) p. 130.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Patrice Minotti, Philippe Langlet, Gilles Bourbon and Takahisa Masuzawa, “Design and Characterization of High-Torque/Low-Speed Silicon Based Electrostatic Micromotors Using Stator/Rotor Contact Interactions”, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys., Vol. 37 (1998) pp. L359 - L361CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. [10]
    T. Akiyama and K. Shono, “Controlled stepwise motion in Polysilicon microstructures”, J. Microelectromechanical Systems, vol. 2, No. 3 (1993), pp. 106–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    N. Takeshima and H. Fujita, “Design and Control of Systems with Microactuator Array”, Proc.IEEE Workshop in Advanced Motion Control, Yokohama, Japan (1990) p. 219–232Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    M. Ataka, A. Omodaka, N. Takeshima and H. Fujita, “Polyimide Bimorph Actuators for a Ciliary Motion System”, IEEE/ASME J. of Microelectromechanical Syst.2, No. 4 (1993) p. 146–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    W. Riethmuller and W. Benecke, “Thermally Excited Silicon Microactuators”, IEEE Trans on Electron Devices, ED-35 (1988) p. 758–763Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    M. Schmidt, R.T. Home, S. Senturia and J. Haritonidis, “Design and Calibration of a Microfabricated Floating Element Shear-Stress Sensor”, IEEE Trans on Electron Devices, ED-35 (1988) P. 750–757Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    H.Fujita and K.J.Gabriel, “New Opportunities for Microactuators”, Proc.of 6th International Conference on Solid-state Sensors and Actuators, San Francisco (1991) p.14–20Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    T. Yasuda, et al: Transducers ‘83, Yokohama, Japan (1993) p. 42.Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    K. Hoshino, et al: IEEE MEMS’99, Orlando, FL. (1999) P. 429Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    C.-J. Kim, A.P.Pisano, R.S.Muller, “Silicon-Process Overhanging Microgripper”, IEEE/ASME Jour. of Microelectromechanical Systems, 1 (1992) pp. 31–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. [19]
    J. Ok, C.J. Kim: IEEE MEMS’99, Orlando, FL. (1999) p. 459.Google Scholar
  20. [20]
    H. Miyazaki, T. Sato: IEEE MEMS ‘86, San Diego, CA (1996) p. 318.Google Scholar
  21. [21]
    E. Higurashi et al: IEEJ/IEEEMOEMS97, Nara, Japan (1997) p. 186.Google Scholar
  22. [22]
    M. Washizu, et al: IEEE Trans. on IA, vol. 31 (1995) p. 447.Google Scholar
  23. [23]
    K. Hirano, et al: IEEJ/IEEE MOEMS97, Nara, Japan (1997) p. 195Google Scholar
  24. [24]
    T.V. Vorburger, et al: Annals of CIRP, vol. 46 /2 (1997) p. 597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. [25]
    K.T. Park, M. Esashi, IEEE MEMS’99, Orland, FL (1999) p. 400Google Scholar
  26. [26]
  27. [27]
    T. Higuchi, et al, “Micro Actuators using Recoil of an Ejected Mass”, IEEE Micro Robots and Teleoperators Workshop, Hyannis, MA (1987)Google Scholar
  28. [28]
    T. Ebfors, et al., “A Walking Silicon Micro-Robot”, Tech. Digest Transducers ‘89, June 7–10, 1999, Sendai, Japan, vol. 2, p. 1202.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroyuki Fujita
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Industrial ScienceUniversity of TokyoMinato-ku, TokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations