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Proceedings Paper

Design and fabrication of an articulated four axes microrobot arm
Author(s): Ruoshi Zhang; Zhong Yang; Danming Wei; Dan O. Popa
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Paper Abstract

In order to carry out nanomanufacturing tasks, a microrobot requires both high precision and high reliability over prolonged periods of time. Articulated Four-Axis Microrobots (AFAM) have been introduced a decade ago as millimetric microrobots capable of carrying out nanoscale tasks. The original robot design relied on a Micro Electro Mechanical (MEMS) actuator bank positioned onto a Silicon substrate, and an assembled arm mechanically coupled to the actuators through a cable. Movement of two thermal actuator banks positions the AFAM’s end effector in 3-Dimensional space with approximately 75 microns workspace and 50 nm repeatability. However, failure of the AFAM’s cable mechanism was observed after less than 1 million cycles. In this paper, we propose a novel arm mechanism for AFAM that improve its performance. The design presented in this article substitutes the "wire-gluing" cable with an anchored electrostatic actuator, and therefore it simplifies assembly requirements, reduces overall footprint of the microrobot, and achieves higher operating frequency. Simulation results are presented for a rotary electrostatic comb drive as basis for the microrobot arm with overall dimensions of 2 mm × 2 mm. The AFAM arm cantilever is 1 mm long to achieve a workspace of dimension of 75 microns along the vertical axis. Experimental evaluation of the design was accomplished using a prototype fabricated on a silicon on insulator (SOI) wafer processed with the deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) process.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 May 2017
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10216, Smart Biomedical and Physiological Sensor Technology XIV, 102160C (16 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2262814
Show Author Affiliations
Ruoshi Zhang, Univ. of Louisville (United States)
Zhong Yang, Univ. of Louisville (United States)
Danming Wei, Univ. of Louisville (United States)
Dan O. Popa, Univ. of Louisville (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10216:
Smart Biomedical and Physiological Sensor Technology XIV
Brian M. Cullum; Douglas Kiehl; Eric S. McLamore, Editor(s)

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