Although several types of locomotive microrobots have been developed, most of them have difficulty locomoting on uneven surfaces. Thus, we have been focused on microrobots that can locomote using step patterns. We are studying insect-type microrobot systems. The locomotion of the microrobot is generated by rotational movements of the shape memory alloy-type rotary actuator. In addition, we have constructed artificial neural networks by using analog integrated circuit (IC) technology. The artificial neural networks can output the driving waveform without using software programs. The shape memory alloy-type rotary actuator and the artificial neural networks are constructed with silicon wafers; they can be integrated by using micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) technology. As a result, the MEMS microrobot system can locomote using step patterns. The insect-type MEMS microrobot system is 0.079 g in weight and less than 5.0 mm in size, and its locomotion speed is 2 mm/min. The locomotion speed is slow because the heat of the shape memory alloy conducts to the mechanical parts of the MEMS microrobot. In this paper, we discuss a new rotary actuator compared with the previous model and show the continuous rotation of the proposed rotary actuator.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited