Next Article in Journal
Holographic Fabrication of Designed Functional Defect Lines in Photonic Crystal Lattice Using a Spatial Light Modulator
Next Article in Special Issue
Switching between Magnetotactic and Aerotactic Displacement Controls to Enhance the Efficacy of MC-1 Magneto-Aerotactic Bacteria as Cancer-Fighting Nanorobots
Previous Article in Journal
Resonant Varifocal Micromirror with Piezoresistive Focus Sensor
Previous Article in Special Issue
Microfluidic Device to Measure the Speed of C. elegans Using the Resistance Change of the Flexible Electrode
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Micromachines 2016, 7(4), 58;

Miniaturized Rotary Actuators Using Shape Memory Alloy for Insect-Type MEMS Microrobot

Department of Precision Machinery Engineering, College of Science and Technology, Nihon University, 7-24-1 Narashinodai, Funabashi-shi, Chiba 274-8501, Japan
Precision Machinery Engineering, Graduate School of Science and Technology, Nihon University, 1-8-14 Kanda Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8308, Japan
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Toshio Fukuda, Mohd Ridzuan bin Ahmad and Yajing Shen
Received: 16 January 2016 / Revised: 22 March 2016 / Accepted: 28 March 2016 / Published: 31 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Robotics)
Full-Text   |   PDF [9614 KB, uploaded 31 March 2016]   |  


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: microrobot; rotary actuator; shape memory alloy; artificial neural networks; MEMS; heat conduction microrobot; rotary actuator; shape memory alloy; artificial neural networks; MEMS; heat conduction

Graphical abstract

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 (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Saito, K.; Iwata, K.; Ishihara, Y.; Sugita, K.; Takato, M.; Uchikoba, F. Miniaturized Rotary Actuators Using Shape Memory Alloy for Insect-Type MEMS Microrobot. Micromachines 2016, 7, 58.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Micromachines EISSN 2072-666X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top