Dissertation Talk: Walking Silicon Microrobots
Presentation | May 8 | 9-11:30 a.m. | 490 Cory Hall
Daniel Contreras, EECS
In this talk, I will discuss the development and testing of millimeter to centimeter-scale silicon-based walking robots, as well as the actuator models I have developed for these robots and the assembly techniques for their construction. Low-power, high-speed electrostatic gap-closing actuator based inchworm motors are used for on-board actuation of planar silicon linkages. A single-legged robot based on this technology demonstrated locomotion under tethered control. I will then talk about the silicon hexapod developed in the same process. With 12 motors, 6 legs, and 12 degrees of freedom and hardwired to perform a dual-tripod gait, the robot has demonstrated successful actuation and walking under tethered control. My talk will conclude with discussions of future directions for this robotics platform, including implementing on-board power and control, actuator power schemes, and scaling to smaller dimensions.