Progress Toward Mobility in Microfabricated Millirobots

  • Sarah Bergbreiter
  • Aaron P. Gerratt
  • Dana Vogtmann
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8336)


Research on mobile millirobots has been ongoing for the last 20 years, but the few robots that have walked have done so at slow speeds on smooth silicon wafers. However, ants can move at speeds approaching 40 body lengths/second on surfaces from picnic tables to front lawns. What challenges do we still need to tackle for millirobots to achieve this incredible mobility? This chapter presents some of the mechanisms that have been designed and fabricated to enable robot mobility at the insect size scale. These mechanisms utilize new microfabrication processes to incorporate materials with widely varying moduli and functionality for more complexity in smaller packages. Results include a 4 mm jumping mechanism that can be launched over 30 cm straight up, an actuated jumping mechanism used as a catapult, and preliminary leg designs for a walking/running millirobot.


Jump Height Device Layer Reset Phase Thermal Actuator Hexapod Robot 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Bergbreiter
    • 1
  • Aaron P. Gerratt
    • 2
  • Dana Vogtmann
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.École polytechnique fédérale de LausanneUSA

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