16 May 2017 Design and fabrication of an articulated four axes microrobot arm
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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.
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Ruoshi Zhang, Ruoshi Zhang, Zhong Yang, Zhong Yang, Danming Wei, Danming Wei, Dan O. Popa, Dan O. Popa, } "Design and fabrication of an articulated four axes microrobot arm", Proc. SPIE 10216, Smart Biomedical and Physiological Sensor Technology XIV, 102160C (16 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2262814; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2262814
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