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Proceedings Paper

Implementing frequency-modulated piezo-based locomotion for achieving further miniaturization for wireless robots
Author(s): Sylvain M. Martel; Juan Bautista Coves Ferrando; Lorenzo Cervera Olague; Timothy Fofonoff; Ian Warwick Hunter
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Paper Abstract

Amplitude modulated piezo-based locomotion requires one power amplifier for each quadrant electrode on the piezo-legs of miniature robots. Since each amplifier has a significant amount of quiescent current, several DC/DC converters must be embedded to source at least the total amount of quiescent current. In order to achieve a significant reduction in the overall size of the piezo-actuated robots, the number of DC/DC converters is reduced through frequency modulation. Using frequency modulation, the amplitudes of deflection or the step sizes are reduced by modulating the piezo-legs above the resonant frequency. Although the frequency modulated approach can result in much smaller robots than what can be achieved using the amplitude modulated technique, it has some drawbacks that the amplitude modulated approach does not have. First, the magnitudes of deflection of the piezo-legs using frequency modulation are typically more difficult to control. Secondly, for much smaller amplitudes of deflection, the onboard electronics must operate faster, yielding an increase in power consumption and an increase in temperature of the miniature robot, which in turn may affect sensitive embedded instruments. Furthermore, modulating the piezo-legs above the resonant frequency yields a reduction in efficiency, which translates into additional heat. When very small deflections are required, the risk of the temperature to rise beyond the Curie temperature of the piezo-material may also become an issue. All these factors must be considered carefully when frequency modulated piezo-based locomotion is used.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 October 2001
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4568, Microrobotics and Microassembly III, (8 October 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.444128
Show Author Affiliations
Sylvain M. Martel, MIT BioInstrumentation Lab. (United States)
Juan Bautista Coves Ferrando, Univ. Politecnica de Valencia (Spain)
Lorenzo Cervera Olague, Univ. Politecnica de Valencia (Spain)
Timothy Fofonoff, MIT BioInstrumentation Lab. (United States)
Ian Warwick Hunter, MIT BioInstrumentation Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4568:
Microrobotics and Microassembly III
Bradley J. Nelson; Jean-Marc Breguet, Editor(s)

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