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Special Issue "Microrobots"

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A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2011)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Tim Dallas

Edward E. Whitacre, Jr. College of Engineering, Department of Electrical& Computer Engineering Texas Tech University, MS 3102, Lubbock, TX 79409-3102, USA
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 806 742 1245
Interests: microelectromechanical systems; MEMS; microactuators; microsensors; MEMS packaging; MEMS micro-positioners; stiction; nanocoatings; MEMS education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Microrobots are emerging as important tools for interacting with the macro, meso, micro, and nanoscale. They hold the promise of performing valuable operations that include remote sensing, search and rescue, exploring hazardous situations, and micromanipulation. Mobile, flying, and chip-based microrobots have all been realized with a variety of capabilities. Integrating mobility, power, communication, thinking, and sensing into these compact systems produces numerous engineering challenges. Researchers have turned to nature, especially insects and micro-organisms, for inspiration, resulting in devices that emulate these exquisite creatures. Cost considerations have pushed the field to microfabrication techniques, especially for MEMS-based systems. The field will only continue to grow as microrobots demonstrate functionality in real-world applications and as additional technological breakthroughs emerge.

In light of the wide range of technical challenges spanning numerous disciplines encountered in the field of microrobotics, it is important to publish a volume in Micromachines dedicated to microrobots. Therefore, we invite contributions from all areas of microrobotics, covering the whole range of applications. In particular we would like to have contributions that address: power, control systems, integrated sensors, autonomy, communication, mobility (terrestrial, aquatic, air-borne), micro/nano manipulation, tactile, lifetime, biomimetics, networks/swarms, fabrication, materials, cost, and deployment.

We will consider papers dealing with the latest work in the field, and reviews on all aspects of microrobots. Also, in accordance of the general policy of the journal, we invite research proposals, introducing ideas for new applications, new types of units, and new types of technologies.

Prof. Dr. Tim Dallas
Guest Editor

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessCommunication Jitterbot: A Mobile Millirobot Using Vibration Actuation
Micromachines 2011, 2(2), 295-305; doi:10.3390/mi2020295
Received: 6 May 2011 / Revised: 7 June 2011 / Accepted: 14 June 2011 / Published: 15 June 2011
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (476 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Microrobotics is a rapidly growing field with promising applications in microsurgery and microassembly. A challenge in these systems is providing power and control signals to the robot. This project explores crawling robots that are powered and controlled through a global mechanical vibration field.
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Microrobotics is a rapidly growing field with promising applications in microsurgery and microassembly. A challenge in these systems is providing power and control signals to the robot. This project explores crawling robots that are powered and controlled through a global mechanical vibration field. Structures within the robot will cause it to respond to particular frequencies with different motion modalities. A prototype, dubbed the “jitterbot”, was cut out of a 0.75 mm sheet of steel using electric discharge machining (EDM), and has a total footprint of approximately 30 mm × 20 mm in the xy-plane. The “robot” has a tripod body (8 mm × 16 mm) with three small legs, and two suspended masses that are designed for specific resonance frequencies. The robot was tested on a plate that was vibrated vertically at frequencies ranging from 20 to 2,000 Hz. For particular resonant frequencies, the robot moves forward and turns in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Finite element modeling confirms that the mechanism for motion is a rocking mode that is influenced by two arms that are suspended mass springs tuned to different frequencies. This lays the groundwork for further miniaturization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microrobots)

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