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Proceedings Paper

Smart materials for actuation in microrobots
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes the implementation of smart materials in actuators which are employed by mobile microrobots. A versatile microrobot is able to perform complex handling and joining procedures of microobjects with high precision. Such a microrobot requires precise actuators made of specific smart materials. These materials enable the microrobots to fulfill movements in coarse- and fine-positioning mode. The actuator material, currently most frequently used for the coarse-positioning mode, is a piezoelectric ceramic. It is important for the coarse-positioning actuators to be able to carry the entire weight of the microrobots, to provide a velocity of several cm/s and a positioning accuracy in a range of a few μm. The actuators for a fine-positioning unit have to provide an accuracy in the range of a few nanometers. The workspace of a fine-positioning unit depends on a task and is in between a few μm3 and several cm3. For this use, piezoelectric ceramics are suitable as well. Furthermore, the employment of ferrofluids is promising.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 November 2002
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 4935, Smart Structures, Devices, and Systems, (14 November 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.471982
Show Author Affiliations
Axel Kortschack, Univ. Oldenburg (Germany)
Sergej Fatikow, Univ. Oldenburg (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4935:
Smart Structures, Devices, and Systems
Erol C. Harvey; Derek Abbott; Vijay K. Varadan, Editor(s)

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