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Proceedings Paper

Microactuators as driving units for microbotic systems
Author(s): Heinz Lehr; S. Abel; J. Doepper; Wolfgang Ehrfeld; B. Hagemann; Klaus Peter Kaemper; Frank Michel; Ch. Schulz; C. Theurigen
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Paper Abstract

The trend towards the integration of a multitude of functions in e.g. data end-, medical- and communication systems pushes the miniaturization of actuators for linear or rotational motions. Technical advantages of these devices are their low energy consumption, their potential for high precision positioning and their low inertial masses, which allow e.g. huge rotational frequencies. Appreciable forces and torques as well as appropriate mechanical interfaces to integrate these drive units into complete systems are necessary prerequisites for robotic applications, but rarely found up to now. Most of these difficulties arise due to the application of monolithic fabrication techniques, leading to structures of essentially planar nature and severe material restrictions. It turned out that only hybrid concepts and the assembly of components made from the most appropriate material open the chance to build up microactuators which are well suited for microrobotic systems. The contribution starts with a short description of the LIGA technique, which constitutes the major 3-D microfabrication method for the production of individual actuator components with structural heights of up to several millimeters made from a variety of function adapted materials. The assembling of these components results in microactuators with typical dimensions in the millimeter range. Examples are powerful electromagnetic micromotors, delivering torques much larger than one (mu) Nm and high rotational speeds which may be converted by use of LIGA fabricated gear-wheels to furthermore increase the torque. Huge forces are obtained in addition by use of microfabricated fluidic systems. Although small in size, the actuators still offer good handling opportunities and interfacing facilities to build up more complicated robotic systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 December 1996
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2906, Microrobotics: Components and Applications, (11 December 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.260624
Show Author Affiliations
Heinz Lehr, Institut fuer Mikrotechnik Mainz GmbH (Germany)
S. Abel, Institut fuer Mikrotechnik Mainz GmbH (Germany)
J. Doepper, Institut fuer Mikrotechnik Mainz GmbH (Germany)
Wolfgang Ehrfeld, Institut fuer Mikrotechnik Mainz GmbH (Germany)
B. Hagemann, Institut fuer Mikrotechnik Mainz GmbH (Germany)
Klaus Peter Kaemper, Institut fuer Mikrotechnik Mainz GmbH (Germany)
Frank Michel, Institut fuer Mikrotechnik Mainz GmbH (Germany)
Ch. Schulz, Institut fuer Mikrotechnik Mainz GmbH (Germany)
C. Theurigen, Institut fuer Mikrotechnik Mainz GmbH (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2906:
Microrobotics: Components and Applications
Armin Sulzmann, Editor(s)

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