MicroStressBots: Species Differentiation in Surface Micromachined Microrobots
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In this paper we review our ongoing research on untethered stress-engineered microrobots (MicroStressBots), focusing on the challenges and opportunities of operating mobile robots on the micrometer size scale. The MicroStressBots are fabricated with planar dimensions of approximately 260 μm × 60 μm and a total mass less than 50 ng from 1.5-3.5 μm thick polycrystalline silicon using a surface micromachining processes. A single global power delivery and control signal is broadcast to all our robots, but decoded differently by each species using onboard electromechanical memory and logic. We review our design objectives in creating robots on the microscale, and describe the constraints imposed by fabrication, assembly, and operation of such small robotic systems. Our robots have been used to motivate and demonstrate multiple robot control algorithms constrained by a single global signal with a limited number of distinct voltages.
KeywordsPower Delivery Turning Rate Dielectric Breakdown Strength Transfer Frame Locomotion Mechanism
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